Photo: Brad Simpson

Trade and Empire: African Art’s Golden Age


Museum Lecture Hall

This is a past event

During the Middle Ages, West Africa was home to rich and dynamic cultures that created objects whose power and beauty continue to resonate today. Most spectacular were those made of gold. In this talk, Gus Casely-Hayford, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, traces the history of gold and the growth of West Africa’s empires. By exploring this network, which includes the powerful emperor of Mali, Mansa Musa, he reveals the impact these former kingdoms continue to have on contemporary values and cultural expression.

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