Museum of African Art & Culture

e5ccf9_970728786cf5aeb8249a321770cd8c35.jpeg_srz_p_555_763_75_22_0.50_1.20_0Portland, Maine is home of one of the most culturally specific museums about African art and culture, today’s “Museum of the Day” is a relatively new addition to cultural diversity in Maine.

The Museum of African Culture was founded by Oscar Mokeme and Art Aleshire and opened on August 8, 1998 in Portland Maine. It is the only institution in northern New England devoted exclusively to sub-Saharan African arts and culture. There are over 1,500 pieces in the collection of the museum, ranging from large-scale, elaborately carved wooden masks to smaller scale figures, cast copper alloy (bronze) figures, textiles, utilitarian objects, ceramic, bone, ivory and composite objects.

The oldest mask in the collection dates back to 1600 AD. Many of the bronzes are 1,000 years old and the ivory flutes and clay vessels are up to 2,000 years old. These pieces are important as they preserve the religious and cultural legacy of Africa that is fast disappearing in a globalized world.

The permanent exhibit features an extensive display of African masks. In addition to the permanent gallery, the museum has a Heritage Gallery with rotating exhibits featuring themes that include art from all over Sub-saharan Africa. The contemporary gallery has rotating exhibits that feature art inspired by the African Diaspora, and is home of the Black Artist Forum.

I know I would really enjoy to visit and learn more about the museum and its collections from the founding director.

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