Holiday Hours: The Museum and BMA Shop will close at 3 p.m.
on December 24 and December 31. The Museum and BMA Shop will be closed on December 26. ×

Beyond Flight: Birds in African Art

From December 20, 2017 — June 10, 2018

This exhibition presents approximately 20 works that illustrate the honored place birds hold within numerous African cultures. Inspired by our recent acquisition of a rare Pende Gitenga mask of the early to mid-20th century, the exhibition considers the role of birds within initiation, healing, and harvest rituals; within home décor and security; and within hunting practices. Long considered wondrous beings that transcend known worlds, birds have enjoyed a strong and steady presence in African life for centuries. Included are works that cite birds by material or motif made in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria.

This exhibition is co-curated by former Associate Curator of African Art Shannen Hill and Interim Associate Curator of African Art Kevin Tervala.

Culture: Pende (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Gitenga Mask. Mid-20th century.

Culture: Pende (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Gitenga Mask. Mid-20th century. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchased as the gift of Amy Gould and Matthew Polk, Gibson Island, Maryland, BMA 2015.148