Selections from the Mark and Mary Jo Wentzel Collection of African Art

Past Exhibitions

Beauty and the Beasts

September 4-30, 2008

The exhibition features more than two-dozen West African masks and sculptures from the modern nations of Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mali, and Sierra Leone. It explores two contrasting elements of West African art and ideology: the powers of nature (The "Bush") and culture (The "Village"). Animal forms represent the "Bush," a dangerous, mysterious, and magical region that lies beyond human control. Commonly, the "Village" or "civilization" is represented by female forms, which also emphasize the qualities of fertility, cultivation, and continuity. Emphasis is placed on the traditional religious, ceremonial, and performance contexts of the selected objects.

The exhibition is co-sponsored by: the Office of the Provost, the College of Letters & Science, African American Student Academic Services, the Department of Art History and the Friends of Art History.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Art History Gallery - Mitchell Hall, Rm.154
3203 N. Downer Ave.


Opening Reception:
September 4, 2008
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
with Gallery Talk at 6:00 pm by George Ulrich

Gallery Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 10-4