Behind the Mask: African Art from the Ellen Hobbs Collection and the Kennedy Museum of Art

Behind the Mask: African Art from the Ellen Hobbs Collection and the Kennedy Museum of Art
Thursday, February 22, 5:30-6:30p.m.
(updated time!)
The Kennedy Museum of Art (
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

Special programming on February 22 includes an introductory gallery tour by museum staff, followed by interactive presentations on their countries of origin by international students from Africa (representing the Ohio Valley International Council). Behind the Mask runs through April 22.

Guest curator Andrea Frohne, assistant professor of African art at OU, presents cultural meanings behind African masks on display, with research assistance from students of her African art history graduate seminar.

Masks selected from renowned collector Ellen Hobbs of Hendersonville, North Casrolina, and from the Kennedy African collections will be displayed alongside large-screen projections of still photographs and videos featuring African performing arts.

After more than 60 years of collecting, Hobbs owns hundreds of masks from all over the world, including more than 100 from Africa. The Kennedy African Collection includes art from the countries of Mali, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This exhibition draws on ceremonial masks from West and Central Africa. (

Open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, Noon-5 p.m.; Thursday, Noon-8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
For information, or to book tours call 740-593-1304.

“‘Behind the Mask’ explores African art” by Lisa Wakeland, Staff Writer, Speakeasy Magazine:


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