Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Exhibit at the VMFA! "Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria"


After a very busy Valentine's Day weekend, Mac and I had some free time this afternoon to enjoy what our neighborhood has to offer ourselves! We first had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Can Can, in Carytown. Their salad nicoise is one of my favorite lunches EVER! We then decided to go to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to take in their latest exhibit, "Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria." The exhibit features objects dating from the 12th to 15th centuries made by the Yoruba people of Ife in ancient Africa. They are from the nation now known as Nigeria. Most impressive were the huge metal cast statues and heads--all done with incredible detail. In addition to works in copper and other metals, there were works in stone and clay along with royal jewelry and other religious objects. The ancient art reflects the sacred traditions of the Yoruba people and their beliefs about life and death and heaven and earth. Many of the objects were found simply by chance in the early 20th century. Some were found buried in the ground in 1938, when workers digging foundations for new buildings in Ife hit hard objects in the soil that turned out to be very old and very valuable works of art! One 12th to 15th century terra cotta head was discovered in 1967 lying on the side of the road by twin brothers. It had been washed up from the earth by rain! This is the first time these objects have traveled from their home in West Africa. It is definitely a "must see"! The exhibit runs from February 12 through May 22, 2011. Separate tickets are required and may be purchased at the front desk of the museum or online. Tomorrow morning, Mac and I will be attending a special preview of the VMFA's "Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris." That special exhibit will be the subject for another blog!

Mac Pence and Jeff Wells
your Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers at Maury Place at Monument