The new, expanded African art gallery features:
African art spanning 16 centuries: The oldest work on view is a circa 600 terracotta sculpture, and the newest work is a site-specific drawing by Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk created in June 2017. Contemporary African works continue to be seen in both the NCMA’s Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park, as well as in West Building’s modern and contemporary galleries.
More space: The new gallery is three times as large as the old gallery, allowing both more works to be on view and more space to be dedicated to each work.
More works of art: The average number of works on view grew from 65 in the old gallery to 125 in the new gallery, including works of art that have not been on view in over a decade.
Improved lighting controls: Light-sensitive works, such as textiles and costumes, can be on view for longer periods of time (shown in curated rotations).
New acquisitions: The Museum is continually enlarging its African art collection, even while it is off view.
North Carolina collections: The new gallery features public and private North Carolina collections, including 10 works on loan from Bennett College (whose works were donated by Warren M. Robbins, founder of the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian) and works from NCMA docent Rhonda Wilkerson.
December 2016: Works of art go off view in West Building gallery.
December 2016−May 2017: Works of art (including the works on loan from local collections) undergo conservation review and treatment.
February 2017−June 2017: The new East Building gallery is renovated and prepared; works are installed.
June 2017: Contemporary Nigerian-born artist Victor Ekpuk creates site-specific mural in new gallery.
June 30, 2017: New African art gallery is complete.
July−September 2017: Series of programs celebrating African art: lectures, concerts, film screenings, and more.
September 2017: African art celebration
This installation is made possible through generous funding by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust. Additional support is provided by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.