Posts Tagged 'Asante'

A Golden Summertime

Last night, we wrapped up our annual summer partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center’s six-week Summer Arts at the Center program, where students learn about African history through writing, photography, art-making, and performance. This summer, students learned about post-colonial West Africa, with a focus on Ghana.

Some of our favorite works of art at the DMA come from Ghana – like the Sword ornament in the shape of a lion! After a field trip to the Museum to learn more about Asante gold, teens illustrated and gilded proverbs from their lives with gold leaf, then brought them into three dimensions with clay.

After their projects were finished, we invited families from the Center to visit us for a family night! Roslyn Walker, the DMA’s Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific, lead tours for families in the galleries. Students and their loved ones also made thumb pianos in the studio and explored the Center for Creative Connections during their visit.

Big thanks to the South Dallas Cultural Center for another summer of awesome art making and fun. We look forward to seeing you at the museum again soon!

Jessica Thompson
Manager of Teen and Gallery Programs

New Acquisitions in African Collection

Two works of art from the Asante peoples in Ghana are now part of the DMA’s collection and are currently on view in the African galleries.  Both works of art were made for Asante chiefs and relate to proverbs.

The Linguist Staff has a finial which refers to an Asante proverb that states, “one who climbs a good tree always gets a push,” that is, if a chief’s intentions are good and fair, he will have the support of his people.  A ruler owns several linguist staffs in order to display the one that best visualizes the message he wishes to convey to his people at a particular time.

The Sword ornament in the form of a lion is a hollow cast gold sculpture.  Similar to linguist staff finials, the imagery on sword ornaments is meaningful.  The lion, for example, is an emblem for the bravery of the chief.  A proverb states, “If the lion has no intention to attack, it will not show its teeth before you,” advising a person to heed the warnings of a chief.  This lion’s teeth are bared.

Visit the Museum soon to see these new acquisitions!

Molly Kysar
Head of Teaching Programs

Linguist staff (okyeame poma), Ghana, Asante peoples, first half of 20th century, wood and gold leaf, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2010.1.McD

Linguist staff (okyeame poma) (detail), Ghana, Asante peoples, first half of 20th century, wood and gold leaf, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2010.1.McD

 Sword ornament in the form of a lion, Ghana, Nsuta State, Asante peoples, c. mid-20th century, cast gold and felt, Dallas Museum of Art, The Eugene and Margaret McDermott Art Fund, Inc., 2010.2.McD


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