UCLA Luskin Conference Center Quarterly Newsletter — August 2018

Don’t Miss This Red Hot Exhibit Happening Now!

Nkishi figure, Songye peoples, Democratic Republic of the Congo. 19th century. Wood, iron, copper alloy, cowrie shell, horn. Collection of the MAS, Antwerp, Belgium. Image © MAS, Photograph Michel Wuyts

Meeting at the Luskin Conference Center doesn’t mean it’s just all about meetings — certainly not when you’re at UCLA! With such close proximity to all the campus has to offer, visit one of the many happenings going on, like stopping by the nearby Fowler Museum to see the new, beautifully-installed exhibition, Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths.

On view now  through December 30th, the international traveling exhibition — featuring more than 225 artworks from across the sub-Saharan African continent — reveals the extraordinary histories of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform one of earth’s most fundamental natural resources into objects of life-changing utility, empowerment, prestige, artistry and spiritual potency.

Borrowed from American and European public and private collections, the exhibition includes wood sculptures studded with iron, musical instruments, tools, weapons, prestige blades, currency tokens and elaborate body adornments. Nowhere else in the world are there more diverse and accomplished forged iron forms than in Africa, and Striking Iron is the most comprehensive exhibition on this material to date.

Following its debut in Los Angeles, the exhibition will travel to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C. and the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Paris.

Herbalist’s Staff (ọ̀pá Ọ̀sanyìn), Yorùbá peoples, Nigeria. 19th century, Iron Collection Mina and Samir Borro. Image © courtesy Mina and Samir Borro

So if you’re staying with us now through the end of 2018, don’t wait to see this fascinating world-class exhibition before it leaves. And, with free admission and a short walk away, it’s too good to miss!

See it now while it’s hot!

Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA

  • June 3 – December 30, 2018
  • Admission is free.
  • Museum hours: Wednesday 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. and Thursday through Sunday 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.


MAIN PHOTO: Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018,  Fowler Museum at UCLA. Photograph Joshua White.