The Art of Weapons
Selections from the African Collection
April 26, 2014, through March 13, 2016
This exhibition explores the Hood Museum of Art's extraordinary collection of African weapons for the first time. It focuses on the aesthetic quality of the objects, and on the ways in which they reflect notions of masculinity, warriorhood, and ideal male beauty in traditional African societies. Because the weapons are in a Western museum's collection, the exhibition also considers Western notions of masculinity, as represented in the collecting practices of those Christian missionaries, colonial administrators, military officers, big game hunters, and explorers who acquired most of these weapons in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. Although the exhibition draws from several cultures in the five sub-regions of Africa, it is not a broad survey of African weapons. Instead, it presents exemplary highlights from the Hood's extensive collection, categorized as "offensive" and "defensive" weapons.
This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art and generously supported by the William B. Jaffe and Evelyn A. Hall Fund.
Curated by Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, Curator of African Art
Press Release (161.64 KB)