In and Out of the Studio: Photographic Portraits from West Africa
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), New York, NY 10028
August 31, 2015 – January 3, 2016
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is paying homage to 100 years of West African art in its newest gallery on August 31st. The exhibit, entitled In and out of the Studio: Photographic Portraits from West Africa, features nearly 80 photographs taken during between the 1870s and 1970s. These elaborate portraits, many of which have been presented for the first time, were drawn from the Metropolitan Museum’s Visual Resource Archives in the department of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, and will be on display for all to marvel until January 3rd, of next year.
Diverse in its nature, the exhibit seeks to enlighten viewers in regards to the history and understanding of West African photography, which is shown through the broad variety of practices and aesthetics use on each of the pieces. Photography in Africa has a rich history, dating back to as early as 1840, when technology was first appropriated into local, African communities. It utilizes the techniques seen on traditional photograph, the post card, and original negatives taken inside and outside the studio by amateur photographers. The exhibit also encompasses works from renowned artists from Senegal, Cameroon, Mali, and Gabon, including J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere and Samuel Fosso. These artists, and long with many other explore the depths of their mediums in order to present a large scale of work.