Art spotlight: MIA's new African galleries

  • Updated: November 11, 2013 - 12:30 PM

This terra cotta sculpture "Shrine Head," from what is now Nigeria, has been traced to Ife, the sacred city of the Yoruba people in western Africa. Between 600 and 900 years old, it portrays an important woman.

Photo: HANDOUT, MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ART

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In consultation with art experts, Twin Cities civic leaders and community members, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts has redesigned its African art galleries, which reopen Sunday with a museum-wide celebration. Highlights of the 4,000-piece collection have been installed in thematic groups that span the continent and the centuries, from a pair of 3,500-year-old Egyptian clappers made of hippopotamus ivory to a 19th-century wooden mask from the Congo and a 20th-century drum from Ghana. Interactive maps, videos, interviews and music are expected to enliven the galleries. Sections on religion, identity, dance, spirituality and other themes link people across the continent and to the contemporary diaspora. (11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Free. 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls. 612-870-3000 or www.artsmia.org)

Mary Abbe

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