Upcoming event in DC: Astronomy meets Art in Africa!

Saturday, September 22, 2:00 — 4:00 PM
At the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on the Mall

Learn about the mystery and science of the stars revealed through African artists from ancient Egypt to the present day. We are pleased to offer a unique double program in collaboration with staff at the National Museum of African Art through their ongoing exhibit “African Cosmos: Stellar Arts.”  Cultural anthropologist and author Dr. Deirdre LaPin will screen her acclaimed film “Sons of the Moon,” which describes how the Ngas of central Nigeria view the moon as the regulating power of all life. Their simple observatories align natural elements that enable men and women to “meet” the new harvest moon once a year. Their structures may be the last traditional observatories that, like ancient Stonehenge, are still regularly used for ritual purposes.

Following the film and discussion, Museum staff will guide us through the exhibit “African Cosmos: Stellar Arts.” Created by Dr. Christine Mullen Kreamer, the Museum’s chief curator and deputy director, this is the first major exhibition exploring the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy and its intersection with traditional and contemporary African arts.  The exhibition of some 100 remarkable objects considers how the sun, moon and stars and celestial phenomena serve as sources of inspiration in the creation of African arts from ancient times to the present.

The film screening and discussion will begin promptly at 2:00 in the Auditorium on the Museum’s sublevel 2, followed by the guided tour of the exhibit on the same level. For more on the celebrated “African Cosmos” show and the film, visit the website.  You may also read the review of the Exhibition from The New York Times by Holland Cotter published 31 August 2012.

DIRECTIONS:  The Museum of African Art is located on the National Mall at 950 Independence Avenue, SW. Nearest Metrorail station is Smithsonian on the Blue and Orange lines.  Take the Mall exit and go west along Jefferson Drive toward  the kiosk and turn right through the Enid Haupt Garden toward the Museum located behind the Castle. Limited parking is also available on Independence Avenue and Jefferson Drive.

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