Exhibition - Sahel: Art and Empires on The Shores of The Sahara

Monday, Oct 26, 2020 at 10:00am

The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028

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From the first millennium, the western Sahel - a vast region in Africa just south of the Sahara Desert that spans what is today Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger—was the birthplace of a succession of influential polities. Fueled by a network of global trade routes extending across the region, the empires of Ghana (300–1200), Mali (1230–1600), Songhay (1464–1591), and Segu (1640–1861) cultivated an enormously rich material culture.

Sahel: Art and Empires on the Shores of the Sahara is the first exhibition of its kind to trace the legacy of those mighty states and what they produced in the visual arts. The presentation brings into focus transformative developments—such as the rise and fall of political dynasties, and the arrival of Islam—through some two hundred objects, including sculptures in wood, stone, fired clay, and bronze; objects in gold and cast metal; woven and dyed textiles; and illuminated manuscripts.

Highlights include loans from the region's national collections, such as a magnificent ancient terracotta equestrian figure (third through eleventh century) from the Institut de Recherches en Sciences Humaines, University of Niamey, Niger; and a dazzling twelfth-century gold pectoral that is a Senegalese national treasure, from the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire, in Dakar.

The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue bring together an array of cross-disciplinary perspectives on the material, with contributions from historians specializing in oral traditions and Islam, archaeologists, philosophers, and art historians.

The exhibition is made possible by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund, the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Laura G. & James J. Ross, and The International Council of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The catalogue is made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The MCS Endowment Fund.

Exhibition Date: Through October 26, 2020

Location: The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 199 

General Admission

For visitors from outside New York State:

Adults: $25

Seniors (65 and over): $17

Students: $12

Members and Patrons: Free

Children (under 12): Free

Suggested Admission

For New York State residents and NY, NJ, CT students, the amount you pay is up to you.

If you wish to pay less than the general admission ticket prices, you may purchase your ticket at one of The Met's locations with a valid ID. All admission tickets include entry to exhibitions as well as same-day entry to both Met locations.

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