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Release Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 11:10 AM
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Media Contact:
Jo-Ann English
Communications Associate
Art of Africa: Objects from the Collection of Warren Robbins

Warren Robbin

WASHINGTON (September 6, 2011) – "Art of Africa: Objects from the Collection of Warren Robbins" will be on view at the Howard University Gallery of Art from September 6 through November 28, 2011.The exhibition features more than 60 objects, including sculptures, textiles, clothing and jewelry from the private collection of Warren Robbins, founding director of the National Museum of African Art, a Smithsonian Institution.

An opening reception will be held Sunday, Sept. 25 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Gallery of Art.
The objects in the exhibition represent the creativity and diversity of artistic expression from nearly 30 cultures of sub-Saharan Africa. Many of the textiles and body ornaments in the exhibition were once worn by royalty and titled men and women. During rituals and ceremonies, they function as symbols of power and authority.

"In African indigenous societies, art is life and life is art," said Kwaku Ofori-Ansa, Ed.D., associate professor of African Art at Howard, who serves as curator for the exhibition. "It showcases Africa's creative ingenuity which has been preserved and transferred from one generation to another throughout human history."

Robbins was a life-long African art enthusiast. After leaving a position at the State Department in 1962, he established an interdisciplinary educational institute, the Center for Cross Cultural Communications, out of his Capitol Hill home. A year later, he purchased the Washington home of abolitionist Frederick Douglas and opened the Museum of African Art.

The museum was the first in the United States devoted exclusively to the rich, creative heritage of Africa. His personal collection led to the formation of the National Museum of African Art.

The collection is on loan from the Robbins Center for Cross Cultural Communication and is organized for tour by International Arts & Artists of Washington, D.C.

For more information, including other scheduled tour dates, contact Eileen
Johnston or Scott Baker in the Howard University Gallery of Art at (202) 806-7070.

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