National Gallery of Art Presents Afro-Atlantic Histories

By Editorial Team on April 11, 2022

Sun, 10 April 2022 - Sun, 17 July 2022

Zanele Muholi
Ntozahke II, (Parktown), 2016
photographic wall mural from digital file
sheet: 355.6 x 254 cm (140 x 100 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Alfred H. Moses and Fern M. Schad Fund
2021.88.1
© Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson, New York, and Stevenson Cape Town / Johannesburg

In conjunction with the much-anticipated presentation of Afro-Atlantic Histories, today the National Gallery of Art announced an extensive schedule of performances, films, lectures, concerts, and community programs centered on art of the African Diaspora. The exhibition, which will be on view in Washington from April 10 through July 17, 2022, will also be accompanied by educational resources, teacher workshops, and an audio guide. Afro-Atlantic Histories will feature wall text in both English and Spanish.

In April, the John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art will welcome artists whose work appears in the exhibition to join in conversation with leading writers and historians. The coinciding John Wilmerding Community Celebration will invite audiences to experience the art and culture of the African Diaspora during a day-long festival featuring music, cooking demonstrations and tastings, shopping from local creators, and the first public performance of María Magdalena Campos-Pons’ piece, When We Gather. In May, a satellite installation in the Sculpture Garden will present Kara Walker’s The Katastwóf Karavan (2018) with special performances of the work’s steam-powered calliope by Jason Moran, the Grammy-nominated pianist, composer, and Kennedy Center artistic director for jazz.

A film series, Among Black Atlantic Cinemas, will feature historic and contemporary works by filmmakers from countries including Brazil, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Senegal. Music programs will include performances by the Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist, composer, and dancer Okaidja Afroso and the Haitian American flutist, vocalist, and composer Nathalie Joachim, who will present Fanm d’Ayiti, her Grammy-nominated work for flute, voice, string quartet, and electronics.

After exploring the exhibition, we welcome visitors to enjoy special menu items in the Cascade Café inspired by Executive Chef Christopher Curtis’s Jamaican heritage and to browse our Shops for an array of bespoke merchandise from local DC artists, purveyors of specialty food traditions, and fair-trade groups who work to give voice to the African experience.

“We are honored to invite audiences to experience the cultures of the African Diaspora through a range of programs and performances inspired by Afro-Atlantic Histories,” said Kaywin Feldman, director, National Gallery of Art. “This rich group of concerts, films, lectures, and resources will continue the conversations the exhibition begins and extend its impact beyond its galleries.”

The unprecedented exhibition explores the impact and legacy of the African Diaspora across four continents. Initially organized and presented in 2018 by the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), Afro-Atlantic Histories includes more than 130 artworks and documents made in Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe from the 17th to the 21st century. Afro-Atlantic Histories is co-organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museu de Arte de São Paulo in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art. The exhibition was on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from October 24, 2021, through January 17, 2022, and will travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from December 11, 2022, through April 30, 2023, and to the Dallas Museum of Art. The National Gallery has engaged two advisory groups of scholars, artists, and community leaders to consult on exhibition content and collaborate on communications, programming opportunities, and outreach.

Read more here.

National Gallery of Art Located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW.