Happy 45th Birthday, Warren M. Robbins Library!

The Warren M. Robbins Library at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. From a collection of a few hundred books in Mr. Robbins’ personal collection in 1971, the Library has grown to a remarkable 50,000 volumes. It enjoys the reputation of being the premier library in the United States for the research and study of the visual arts of Africa. Our collection of 5,000 African more »

Experiencing “The Ultimate Safari”

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting a book written and illustrated by female artists, The Ultimate Safari. The book is currently featured in our exhibition, Artists’ Books and Africa, which is open until September 2016 and is located in the National Museum of African Art. The short story “The Ultimate Safari,” by Nadine Gordimer, was originally published in 1991 in Jump and Other Short Stories (London: Bloomsbury).[1]  This new edition of more »

Roundtable on Artists’ Books – September 16th

To commemorate the opening of our newest exhibit, Artists’ Books and Africa, six artists will discuss how they develop and produce artist books. Panelists will address the inspiration for and recurring themes within their creations. The history of artist books in Africa will also be discussed. Curator Janet Stanley will lead a tour of the exhibit immediately following the discussion.  

Swahili Coast: Exploration by French Captain Charles Guillain, 1846-1848. Part 2, Campaign Description

The blog post, second of three, was written by Xavier Courouble, research assistant for Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean, an online exhibition part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa. Read the first post in the series here. From 1836 to 1848, successively in command of the corvette “La Prévoyante,” “La Dordogne,” and finally the more »

Swahili Coast: Exploration by French Captain Charles Guillain, 1846-1848. Part 1, Re-building an Empire and Emancipating Slaves.

The blog post, first of three, was written by Xavier Courouble, research assistant for Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean, an online exhibition part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa. Recovering from loss of empire following Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in 1815, the French sought to re-establish commerce and colonies in the Indian Ocean.  The more »

A Visit from Co-op City and an Artists’ Book for the Collection

  This summer the Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art (AfA) and the American Art Museum/National Art Museum Library (AAPG) hosted a group of 54 visitors from Co-op City in the Bronx, NY to recognize the acquisition of an artists’ book into the AAPG Library’s collection.

David Livingstone and the Other Slave Trade Part III. The Slaver and the Abolitionist

This the third and final installment of National Museum of African Art Library volunteer Judith Schaefer’s series on David Livingstone. See Part I and Part II. “In Congo, unrelenting violence” “.  .  . violence and insecurity have continued to plague eastern Congo . . . groups have sought to gain power and control over the nation’s vast mineral wealth . . . civilians have been raped and killed . . .” The more »

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