African Cosmos: Stellar Arts

African Cosmos: Stellar Arts shows how the sun, moon, stars, and the phenomena of lightning and rainbows inspired the arts of Africa for thousands of years.

We have all experienced the wonder of gazing at a night sky filled with stars. Our imaginations take flight. We journey to the heavens, inspired by its majesty, and we recall stories about the constellations shining from above. Since the time of the ancient Egyptians, Africans have used their celestial observations to chart their movements through the land and to create their agricultural and ritual calendars.

Africa’s nod to the heavens

 

Christine Mullen Kreamer never went to art museums as a child growing up in a large Irish family in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. But in college, she took classes in subjects she had no experience in and developed a long-lasting affinity for African art.

One of the world’s earliest “calendars” is found at Nabta Playa in southern Egypt, where standing stones mark star alignments and the summer solstice. The site dates some 7,000 years ago, more than a millennium before Stonehenge in England.

After doing fieldwork in Togo and earning a PhD in art history with a specialization in African art from Indiana University, she wound up consulting for the Smithsonian, eventually becoming the deputy director and chief curator at the National Museum of African Art, where she is curating “African Cosmos: Stellar Arts.” In the members section Kreamer explains the significance of the exhibit and you’ll see plenty more images and explanations , contact information and the link to a secret blog and a specific site with about the African Cosmos secrets (Hope I just gave you enough reasons to join or login) ...
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