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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

African Modernism in America, 1947–67

Peter Clarke, That Evening Sun Goes Down, 1960.

Oct 7, 2023 – Jan 7, 2024
1600 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20009

In 1961, the Harmon Foundation organized a landmark exhibition titled “Art from Africa of Our Time.” It got things moving. That same year, the Museum of Modern Art purchased its first contemporary African artwork, Men Taking Banana Beer to Bride by Night (1956), by the Tanzanian artist Sam Joseph Ntiro. The simultaneity of the two events forced America to consider another category of Modernism, and patrons and collectors alike turned their eyes toward a new continent. This exhibition focuses on the relationship between African artists and their American patrons, one that emerged against the backdrop of the Civil Rights era, decolonization, and the Cold War. —Elena Clavarino

Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts/© 2022 Peter Edward Clarke/DALRO, Johannesburg/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York