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Changing Face, Changing Place: A History of African Art at the Art Institute of Chicago

Kathleen Bickford Berzock, curator of African art, traces the history of African art at the Art Institute of Chicago from the 1920s to the handsome new installation opening in spring 2011. The Art Institute’s African collection of over 400 works includes masks and figural sculpture, beadwork, furniture, regalia, and textiles that highlight the diversity of artistic expression on the continent south of the Sahara and emphasize the sculptural traditions of West and Central Africa. Responding to broad cultural and social trends, the curatorial priorities of the 1950s helped gradually focus collections into the increased specialization offered today.

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