Slideshows

5 Natural Artworks For Earth Day

Plank Mask (nwententay), Late 20th century, Yacouba Bonde, Bwa people, Village of Boni, Burkina Faso. Wood, natural pigments. Museum purchase with funds provided by Martha Pezrow. 2004.54 Chief’s Chair or Throne, Late 19th or early 20th century, Chokwe people, Angola. Carved wood, animal skin, metal tacks. Gift of Mrs. Rita Judge Smith. 2001.104 . Power figure (nkishi), Early 20th century, Songye people, Democratic Republic of Congo. Wood, animal skin, animal teeth, seed pods, horn, metal, fiber, glass beads. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Birmingham City Council through the Birmingham Arts Commission, and the Endowed Fund for Acquisitions. 1989.64 . Drum, 20th century Babanki people, Republic of Cameroon. Wood, hide, nails, and cord. Gift of Barry Hecht and Toby Hecht. 1989.163 Queen of Women Mask (Eze Nwanyi), Northeastern Igbo people (Ezza or Izzi sub-group), Nigeria. Late nineteenth/early twentieth century. Wood, pigment. Museum purchase with funds given in memory of Mrs. Dorothy Steiner. 2009.3 .
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Power figure (nkishi), Early 20th century, Songye people, Democratic Republic of Congo. Wood, animal skin, animal teeth, seed pods, horn, metal, fiber, glass beads. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Birmingham City Council through the Birmingham Arts Commission, and the Endowed Fund for Acquisitions. 1989.64 .

The Museum’s African art collection spans the continent’s rich history and cultures, making it one of the most comprehensive and impressive collections in the Southeast. In celebration of both Earth Day and the reopening of our all-new African gallery, we have compiled a few objects from the gallery that are made of natural materials. From wood and seed pods to animal skin and teeth, each of the materials that compose the works of art tells a story about the region of its origin and the people who created the piece.

See these works of art and learn more about them in our new African gallery, opening to the public this Friday, April 25. Click here for more information about the opening lecture and celebration. Join our Facebook event and invite your friends if you plan to attend!