By Dale Bond
The “Bold Mamas and Audacious Entrepreneurs” Exhibit
Focusing in on: Display Case Art
We’ve reached the final display in the “Bold Mamas and Audacious Entrepreneurs Exhibit” exhibit at KU’s Rohrbach Library.
In the history of Africa, there has never simply been art for art’s sake – art and society are intimately intertwined. Beautiful carvings and statues might be considered visually stimulating, but pieces such as this often also have religious or political significance.
The display case features wood carvings (Luba pipe, Luba woman squatting, Luba woman tall, gender-unspecific Tabwa carving, Tabwa woman, Kuba mother and child, Kamba mother and child, Kamba women), soapstone carvings (“Woman in Cave,” women grinding grain, women holding harvested grain), a painted cup and bowl, Ethiopian paintings on cattle skins, and a small copper statue (“Woman Pounding Grain”). Though some of the pieces are tourist items they still show traditional African art and painting styles.
Also on display are a small and a large hanging quilt from Zimbabwe, along with four painted boards, each telling stories about women’s daily lives in Africa.
The display case and the painted boards are located near the Book and Brew Café, to the right of the stairs, and the large quilt hangs above the lobby of the library on the ground floor. Want more information on where these pieces come from? The brochure on the entire exhibit is located at this link, or ask for a printed copy at the front desk of the library. Check it out!