Events PR News and Press Releases
Events PR News and Press Releases

Exhibition of Bark Cloth from Africa and Oceania Expand Considerations of Art and Art History

From Africa to the Americas and Asia to Oceania, artists have worked with bark cloth for thousands of years. Despite its significance and prevelance across global cultures, the medium continues to be undervalued by Euro-American art museums and within art history more broadly.

On May 7, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents The Matter of Bark Cloth, a focus exhibition of 19 artworks from the museum’s renowned African and Oceanic collections that captures the intricacies of the medium and challenges its underrepresentation in Western dialogues about the development and nature of art. The exhibition explores the materiality of bark cloth—which is at once a painted canvas, work on paper, and textile—as well as the diverse ways in which artists, artisans, and makers have embraced and utilized the medium in the 18th and 20th centuries.

The Matter of Bark Cloth will be on view on the third floor of the Contemporary Wing from May 7 through October 1, 2023.

This exhibition is curated by Kevin Tervala, BMA Interim Chief Curator and Associate Curator of African and Oceanic Art.

More information:

Unidentified Mbuti Artist. Painted Barkcloth (Pongo or Murumba). Mid-20th century. Democratic Republic of Congo. The Baltimore Museum of Art: The Amy Gould/Matthew Polk Fund, BMA 2021.212

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