“Peace, Power, & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa" at the Figge Art Museum -- through January 8. (Yoruba artist, Nigeria, Seated edan Ògbóni/Òsùgbó figure holding two children, flanked by two supplicants, 18th century)

Through Sunday, January 8

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

A fascinating exploration into the roles of metal objects in sustaining and enhancing life in African communities, the Figge Art Museum's Peace, Power, & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa, on display through January 8, will offer patrons the chance to view spectacular works in an exhibit designed to demonstrate the aesthetic, expressive, and artistic powers of metal.

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 9th 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.

Peace, Power, & Prestige: Metal Arts in Africa will be on display through January 8, with regular museum hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays) and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Museum admission is $4-10, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7804 and visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.

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