Artist and master craftsman Joseph Tetteh-Ashong (Ghanaian, born 1947), also known as Paa Joe, is the most celebrated figurative coffin maker of his generation. In the tradition of figurative coffins—or abeduu adekai (which means “proverb boxes”)—the structures represent the unique lives of the dead. This exhibition comprises a series of large-scale, painted wood sculptures commissioned in 2004 and 2005 that represent architectural models of Gold Coast castles and forts, which served as way stations for more than six million Africans sold into slavery and sent to the Americas and the Caribbean between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Once they were forced through the “Gates of No Return,” these enslaved people started an irreversible and perilous journey during which many died. Relying on traditional techniques and materials, Joe crafts his sculptures to represent vessels ferrying the dead into the afterlife that speak to spirits separated from bodies in trauma. In addition to the seven architectural models, the exhibition features archival documents and recordings, including photographs and short films by award-winning filmmaker Benjamin Wigley and art historian Nana Oforiatta Ayim, curator of Ghana’s 58th Pavilion for the 2019 Venice Biennale.
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Join us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!
Francisco Oller and the Puerto Rican landscape
October 12, 1:00–1:30 pm ET
Starting from the views granted by the doors and windows of the bohío in ‘The Wake’, we will consider how Francisco Oller approached different features of the Puerto Rican landscape through Impressionism, his preferred style for representing the natural world. Landscape paintings of ceiba and palm trees, as well as representations of fruits like plantains and coconuts, will also allow us to explore themes of nationalism and cultural identity in 19th century Puerto Rico.
Join Dr. Tamara Calcaño and Dr. Maya Jimenez for this teaching webinar.