Wednesday Series: Art in Context

Art and Diplomacy: The Sculptural Brilliance of Ancient Ife
Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 -
12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Artists the world over shape knowledge and material into works of unique historical importance. The arts of ancient Yoruba at Ife have long astonished and baffled scholars and connoisseurs alike. Blier addresses the importance of these remarkable bronze and terracotta sculptures, including the Kimbell’s Ife Head, around issues of political crisis and diplomacy. 

Suzanne Preston Blier is Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University and is a current fellow of the Edith O’Donnell Institute of the History of Art in Dallas. Her Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba (2015) won the 2016 Prose Prize in Art History and Criticism. Other books by Blier include African Vodun (1995) and African Royal Art(1998). Blier is the current president of the College Art Association (CAA), the national consortium of artists, art historians and design professionals.

These lectures, part of a continuing series, introduce the permanent collection and selected exhibitions on view at the Kimbell. Piano Auditorium

Head, possibly a King from the Ife culture of Nigeria