During the 20th century, the society and visual culture of people living along the steep, rocky Bandiagara escarpment in present-day Mali captured the imagination of Europeans and Americans. The Dogon—as they have come to be known through a large corpus of colonial literature, ethnographic fieldwork, exhibitions, films, and tour guides—occupy a prominent position in the West’s history of the African continent. ‘ReCollecting Dogon’ showcases over 25 examples of artistry from the Bandiagara region acquired by John and Dominique de Menil during the mid-20th century. The sculptures, masks, necklaces, and other works by “unknown” artists not only suggest the significance of art to daily life among Dogon peoples, they evoke formidable legacies of colonialism and the limitations of representing Dogon peoples through objects collected by and for foreigners. Find out more about the ‘ReCollecting Dogon’ exhibition from the Menil Collection’s website.
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