NCMA Recommends: Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women

Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women is the first major exhibition of Senegalese gold jewelry to focus on the history of Senegal’s gold, from past to present, and the beauty and complexity of the ways Senegalese women use ornament and fashion to present themselves. A key theme of the exhibition is the Senegalese concept of sa±se (a Wolof word for dressing up or looking and feeling good). Good as Gold explores how a woman in a city like Dakar might use a piece of gold jewelry to build a carefully tailored, elegant fashion ensemble.

Good as Gold also looks at the interconnectedness of local and global expressions and understanding of fashion. In addition to presenting nearly 120 pieces of jewelry, the exhibition unveils an ensemble inspired by the strength and savoir faire of Senegalese women, designed by Oumou Sy, Senegal’s “Queen of Couture” and its most celebrated fashion designer.

Learn more about this exhibition, on view now alongside three other special exhibitions featuring North Carolina painters and New York—based artist Leonard Drew, in the video below featuring exhibition curator Amanda M. Maples. Get your ticket to visit the exhibition at the NCMA through January 3, 2021, or learn more about the NCMA Virtual Exhibitions Subscription below to dig deeper from home.

NCMA Virtual Exhibitions Subscription

From North Carolina to the world, from the comfort of your home! In this custom online experience, you can explore virtual versions of the eight special exhibitions now on display at the North Carolina Museum of Art, including Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women. These virtual portals are available for you to experience on your own time and at your own speed, for a one-time access fee.

The NCMA Virtual Exhibitions Subscription gives you access to interactive art spotlights and exclusive videos that span exhibitions about Senegalese jewelry, North Carolina painters, site-specific installations, and the history of the Museum campus and collection. The one-time subscription price is $10 for nonmembers and $8 for members and students (plus taxes and fees).

Virtual exhibitions will be made available on this rollout schedule, so there’s always new content to explore:

– October 9: Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women

– October 16: Leonardo Drew: Making Chaos Legible

– November 13: Christopher Holt: Contemporary Frescoes/Faith and Community and Front Burner: Highlights in Contemporary North Carolina Painting

– December 11: Reflections on Light: Works from the NCMA Collection and West Building and the Architecture of Light

– January 15: Miracle on Morgan Street: The Foundations of the NCMA, 1946—1960 and The Bacchus Conservation Project: The Story of a Sculpture

Note: Your subscription is a one-time purchase, and you will have access to all eight exhibitions by January 2021. If you have questions about the virtual exhibitions, please email Felicia Ingram

Ingenuity in Action

What’s it like installing art during a pandemic? Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 prevented couriers from the Smithsonian from coming to North Carolina to install some of the objects in Good as Gold. Learn more from Exhibition Designer Molly Trask-Price and Manager of Interpretation Felicia Ingram about how the NCMA re-created these objects with life-size versions in resin.

Strong Women on Screen

We recommend three films told from the perspective of Senegalese women who, through their own difficult situations and circumstances, find strength in themselves, their community, and love.–Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs

 – Black Girl (1966). Director: Ousmane Semb¨ne. Diouana, a Senegalese woman who comes to work for a couple in France with hopes, dreams, and expectations of a new life, instead ends up mistreated, dissatisfied, and lonely. This film is often cited as the first sub-Saharan African film by an African filmmaker to receive international attention. Watch on HBO Max or rent on Amazon, iTunes, or YouTube.

– Hyenas (1992). Director: Djibril Diop Mamb©ty. Linguere, an aging, wealthy woman, revisits her home village and rallies the community to help her get revenge on the man who wronged her. Rent on Amazon, iTunes, or YouTube.

– Atlantics (2008). Director: Mati Diop. In this supernatural drama about the transcendent power of love, Ada, a young woman who loses the love of her life to the sea, investigates the mysterious occurrences that begin affecting her, her friends, and a young detective. Watch on Netflix.

Goldsmith at Work

This video shows the making of the biconical pendant seen in Good as Gold. The video comes with audio description intended for those who are blind or have low vision.

Express Yourself through Jewelry

Senegalese women use jewelry and fashion to express their identity. Make your own rose twist ring and find other family activities at NCMALearn.

Sounds from Senegal

Enjoy music from Senegal with this playlist. If you’d like to explore the music of Africa and the Diaspora more broadly, you can listen here.

Contemporary Clay and Ancient Symbols

How do artworks speak to each other across the ages and tell the stories of human experience? Join us on Tuesday, October 27, for a virtual conversation between ngel Gonzalez, NCMA curator of Mesoamerican art, and contemporary ceramic artist Natalia Arbelaez.

Artist Lecture with Lina Iris Viktor

Join us for a lunchtime virtual lecture on Thursday, October 29. Artist Lina Iris Viktor, whose work is on display near the African Gallery, converses with Amanda M. Maples, NCMA curator of African art, about her dark canvases filled with 24-karat gold.

It’s a Wrap!

Exhibition curator Amanda M. Maples worked with North Carolina fashion artist Shemora Sheikh to create one-of-a-kind headwraps for mannequins in the exhibition. Get an introduction to Sheikh’s work and learn more about her collaboration in this video. If you’re intrigued, you may enjoy an extended interview with Sheikh that’s included in the NCMA Virtual Exhibitions Subscription.


Oct 09, 2020


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