During Black History Month, experiencing the rare African art exhibit “Brooklyn is Africa: A Borough of Inclusion; A Continent of Invention” is a must see.
The exhibit, presented by the Center for Arts and Culture, at the Skylight Gallery, is at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. The show includes 2,500 artifacts from the collection of Eric Edwards. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Cultural Museum of African Art. Edwards gathered masks, statutes, drums, clothing and utensils used in daily life from 54 African countries throughout his lifetime.
As visitors take giant steps into Africa’s past, they will view powerful images carved in wood and stone. You see the intricate beaded head work of an 18th Century buffalo head from Cameroon. Or the 6-feet high palace door with hand carved decorative men and women from the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Carved from a single piece of wood, you will see an 8-feet Royal Palace drum with individually hand-carved figures surrounding the base.
“This is an extremely rare piece – the only one known to exist,” said, co-curator Hollis King.
Other pieces include a map of the Congo when it was known as Zaire and a magnificent head of a royal woman from the Mali Empire that is 4,000 years old. You can still clearly see the cornrow hairstyle and proud tilt of her head. You will also see the brilliant colors of an 18th century royal robe worn by a king. Look for the handmade royal coffin for burial of a king, as well as a smaller child’s version.
As you move from one piece to the next, you will be overwhelmed by the cultural history captured in the space.
King added, “We tried to display pieces which are not usually seen. These pieces refute everything said about Black people.”
The exhibit is located at 1368 Fulton Street and runs through April 28. For more information, contact Barbara Bullard, email@example.com or if you would like to bring a school group; contact Karlvy Smith, 718-636-6949.