Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford, Ph.D. has been named the Director of The National Museum of African Art (NMAA). The acclaimed curator and cultural historian is known for his impressive combination of knowledge, experience, communication skills and passion to the Museum. Born in London, he was educated at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, where he received his doctorate in African history. Casely-Hayford succeeds Johnnetta Betsch Cole, who served as director of the NMAA from March 2009 through March 2017.
Image below: Gus Casely-Hayford, Ph.D. - Photograph by Jaimie Gramston
The National Museum of African Art is exhibiting World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean thru September 3. Swahilicomes from the Arabic word meaning edge or coast and refers to the confluence of peoples from the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, Africa and Europe on the east African coast. Artworks on the coast “have been shaped by complex migrations across great distances, the formation of new empires, and the making and unmaking of communities and social identities.” The exhibition “explores Swahili arts as objects of mobility, outcomes of encounter, and as products of trade and imperialism. Works from different regions and time periods come together in this exhibition to reveal the movement of artistic forms, motifs, and preferences, and to reflect the changing meanings they may carry during the course of their life histories.” The exhibition is organized by the Krannert Museum of Art at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, curated by Prita Meier and Allyson Purpura, and made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.
The National Museum of African Art opened a new permanent exhibition titled Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts on November 4.The installation features over 300 works of art and comprises the largest long-term presentation of the Museum’s permanent collection to date. Visionary is “the museum’s first exhibition to offer broad thematic connections between works from across the spectrum of times, places, and media represented in the museum’s holdings.”
The Museum of African Art is exhibiting Artists' Books and Africa for an indefinite period. The exhibition is the first to focus on African artists' books from the Smithsonian Libraries’ Warren M. Robbins Library and the National Museum of African Art.