Margaret Herz Demant Award for African Art: Emotional Lives of African Masks

The Friends of African and African American Art will present its 2021 Margaret Herz Demant Award for African Art to Dr. Zoë Strother, Riggio Professor of African Art at Columbia University. Professor Strother’s extensive publication on African masquerades, architecture, and photography stems from decades of art historical research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Senegal. Her primary interest is to understand the role of the arts in society and their changing history.  

In a virtual award ceremony scheduled for Sunday, October 17, 2021, Professor Strother will present a talk titled “Emotional Lives of African Masks.” Since the 1930s, observers have reported in passing that the African spectators at masquerades in West and Central Africa associate various masks with emotional experiences – including joy, humor, astonishment, awe, and terror. However, few have engaged these strong feelings. This talk asks how we can develop a more Africa-centric approach to the form and performance of masks that consider them as triggers for emotions. 

This event is open to the public but advanced registration is required. Please follow the link to RSVP.