Africa Is Not a Country: Art from Africa and the African Diaspora in MSU Collections

December 2 – January 24, 2020

Year of Global Africa Grand Finale | December 3, 2019 from 5-8pm

Hosting 54 countries and over 2,000 languages, Africa is the second largest continent in the world with a population that exceeds one billion people. Africa is not a Country highlights some of the vast continent’s great cultural and artistic diversity in celebration of Michigan State University’s Year of Global Africa. Challenging narrow conceptions of “Africa” and “African art,” we have sought to be inclusive by featuring objects from all regions of the continent—northern, western, central, eastern, and southern—as well as those created by artists who were born in an African country but, today, live and work in Europe and the United States.

Africa is not a Country was curated by Candace M. Keller, Associate Professor of African Art and Visual Culture at Michigan State University.

Exhibition labels feature student work by:
Leslie Anderson, Taylor Carver, Shelby Johnson, April Matthews, Raffi Appel, Maya Comfort, Taylor Kamen, Ellen Myers, Sam Appel, Anna Craft, Chelsea Langcaster, Rachel Randall, Deanna Austin, Mallory Deacon, Nick Lanphear, Michael Seinfield, Elena Berry, Dylan DeVries, Stephany Latham, Josie Slavsky, Rina Bergman, Elena Dunckel, Julia Lathin, Sunny Wang, Eric Booker, Lauren Hall, Micah Ling, Veronica Wood.

This exhibition was made possible thanks to the MSU Museum, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, the College of Arts & Letters, the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, and the Year of Global Africa planning group. Special thanks to Lynne Swanson, Collections Manager at the MSU Museum, Rachel Vargas, Registrar at the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, Brian Kirschensteiner, Chief Preparator at the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum and his team Brandon Alman, Zane Kemper and Andrew Somoskey. We would also like to thank Professor Jamie Monson and Lisa Frugé from the African Studies Center in addition to Karin Zitzewitz, Interim Chair of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.

Installation image from "Africa is Not A Country: Artwork from Africa and the African Diaspora from MSU Collections" featuring two black and white portrait photographs, a large wooden mask with a black and white pattern painted on the surface, and a carved wood statue.
Installation view of “Africa is Not A Country: Artwork from Africa and the African Diaspora from MSU Collections”