Curator Talk: Dr. Susan Cooksey at the Figge Art Museum -- September 22.

Thursday, September 22, 6:30 p.m.

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

Held in conjunction with the Figge Art Museum's new exhibition Peace, Power & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa, a virtual curator talk with the exhibit's curator Dr. Susan Cooksey – Curator Emerita of African Art at the Harn Museum of Art – will take place on September 22, providing a fascinating exploration into the roles of metal objects in sustaining and enhancing life in African communities.

For millennia, African metalsmiths have drawn upon the inherent power and beauty of metal to create dazzling and enduring objects including: body adornment and currency items for proclaiming wealth and social status; staffs, scepters, weaponry and other regalia as emblems of leadership and authority; and amulets and sacred objects used in spiritual mediation. Featuring more than 140 pieces, Peace, Power & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa includes a diverse range of iron, brass, bronze, gold, copper, silver and alloyed works created by artists in Sub-Saharan Africa between the ninth and 21st centuries, with the exhibit's selected objects from the Harn Museum of Art collection and private collections, most notably the Drs. John and Nicole Dintenfass collection.

Highlights in the exhibition include: iron staffs and figures of the Mande smiths of Mali; bronze and iron chiefly regalia from the Edo people of Nigeria; brass and iron ceremonial swords, brass adorned stools and gold weights, and personal adornment signifying prestige and leadership for the Akan people of Ghana; brass and copper reliquary guardian figure of the Kota of Gabon; cuprous currencies, ceremonial staffs and weaponry from Congo; iron and bronze shrine objects of the Dogon people of Mali; objects adorned with fine wirework from South Africa; Ogboni society brass staffs, figures, and iron divination and healing staffs from the Yoruba people of Nigeria; Ethiopian Christian Orthodox crosses; Somali bridal silver jewelry; and copper alloy sacred objects of Tusian, Gan, and Lobi peoples of Burkina Faso.

The Figge's latest touring exhibition is made possible with support from: the UF Office of the Provost; Dr. Richard H. Davis and Mrs. Jeanne G. Davis; the C. Frederick and Aase B. Thompson Foundation; the UF Office of Research; Drs. David and Rebecca Sammons; the UF International Center; the Margaret J. Early Endowment; Visit Gainesville Alachua County; the Harn Anniversary Fund, Marcia Isaacson; Roy Hunt; Robin and Donna Poynor; UF Center for African Studies; Kenneth and Laura Berns; and retired Lt. Col. David A. Waller. Additional support has been provided by the Harn Program Endowment, the Harn Annual fund, and a group of generous donors.

The curator talk with Dr. Susan Cooksey will take place on September 22, participation in the 6:30 p.m. virtual event is free, and the Peace, Power, & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa will be on display from September 17 through January 8. For more information, call (563)326-7804 and visit

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