AUBURN – Sidney Kasfir, professor of African art history at Emory University, will present the lecture, “Masks, Warriorhood and Colonial Rule: the Idoma Oglinye Masquerade,” on Thursday, March 6, at 4 p.m., at Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum.
Kasfir’s lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibition, “Behind the Mask: African Art from the Ellen Hobbs Collection and the Kennedy Museum of Art at Ohio University, Athens,” on display at the museum through May 10. She will address issues explored in her recent book, “African Art and the Colonial Encounter: Inventing a Global Commodity.”
Educated at the school of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and at Harvard University, Kasfir has published and lectured in the U.S. and internationally. Kasfir is faculty curator of African Art at Emory’s Carlos Museum.
“Behind the Mask” features masks and other carvings from many African nations including Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The exhibition focuses on the widely held belief of many African cultures that masks are part of a larger experience; are often central to ritual and performance, or masquerade; and serve to represent the spirit world or to honor ancestors.
“The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University appreciates the spirit of collegiality in which the Kennedy Museum of Art has shared this exhibition with Auburn,” said museum director Marilyn Laufer. “We also wish to thank and acknowledge Ms. Ellen Hobbs, from whose collection the exhibition was primarily curated; its curator, Dr. Andrea Frohne of Ohio State University; and the Kennedy Museum of Art for sharing this unique opportunity to learn about and appreciate African cultures through these exceptional objects.”
Admission to this public lecture is free. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m; and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. The third Thursday of each month is Free Night with extended hours to 8 p.m.