The Pale Fox, Yapilou: The Art of the Dogon Smith Opening May 7 at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery

April 15th, 2013 by Elizabeth

Spear Sculpture

Exhibition Coincides with May 7 Lecture on Dogon Culture by Professor Hans Guggenheim

Plymouth, N.H. — An exhibition on the art of the Dogon Smith peoples of the Western African nation of Mali will be displayed May 7-17 in the special collections room at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building at Plymouth State University. The exhibition will open at 6 p.m. on May 7.

The exhibition coincides with a lecture on the Dogon culture by Professor Hans Guggenheim at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center for the Arts. There is no charge for admission to either event.

Dogon art is primarily a sculptural expression, largely figurative in subject matter. The themes are based on religious subjects and cultural attributes. Interestingly, such works are kept in the privacy of family homes, largely in secret. Perhaps this is due to the symbolic and ceremonial nature of the work. The Dogon learned early on to work with iron, which adds a complex medium to the strength of the artists’ visions.

The exhibition presents a selection of Dogon art objects made of iron, wood and clay collected by Professor Hans Guggenheim on study missions to Mali. Guggenheim was associate professor of anthropology at MIT and visiting scholar at The Center for International Affairs at Harvard, where he worked on an evaluation of the contributions of UNESCO to the art and culture of traditional societies. An advocate for the arts and education, Guggenheim founded Project Guggenheim in 1997, which provides art programming for young people and students in remote regions around the world.

Door

The Dogon people are quite singular in West African culture in that they have resisted conversion to Islam and Christianity, maintaining their theocratic system based around the ancestor spirit, Nommo. Their architecture is extraordinary and unique and their art works are integral with the Dogon way of life, depicting or embodying various concepts in functional and ceremonial sculptures and paintings.

The Karl Drerup Art Gallery is open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m.–8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1–4 p.m.

In the News

Example Image

Plymouth State Research Could Help Drivers Avoid Dangerous Conditions

By RICK GANLEY & MICHAEL BRINDLEY A sudden snow squall led to this recent 35-car pile up on Interstate 93. Credit Ben Baldwin As we all know, winter weather is a reality of life here in New Hampshire. More snow appears to be headed our way this weekend. But until the storm actually gets here, it’s often hard […]

Example Image

Collaborative “Keep Growing” initiative takes next steps

BY EDITH TUCKER etucker@salmonpress LANCASTER — “Keep Growing,” a grass-roots effort that aims to revitalize and foster innovation in the agricultural economy by building a robust local food system in northern New Hampshire and northern Vermont, took steps to become a more formalized initiative on Thursday, Jan. 15, when nearly two dozen people met for […]

Example Image

Dance Event at PSU

A daylong celebration of dance, with master classes taught by Plymouth State University (PSU) faculty and members of Boston’s Pantos Project, will bring together dancers of all ages and experience levels from across the region February 7. The day includes classes in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, dance repertory, improvisation and somatics, taught by PSU Director of […]