The Presence of the Past was co-curated by students enrolled in “The Powers of Central African Art” during fall 2019, under the direction of David Gordon, Professor of History, and Allison J. Martino, BCMA Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow.
This online exhibition shares the work of Bowdoin students and faculty who have worked with staff at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art to curate an exhibition that will also be on view in the galleries. Together, this project highlights the important role of academic art museums to foster learning, research, and creativity among students. Students in the course “The Powers of Central African Art,” taught by professor David Gordon in the History department, developed this exhibition as part of a class project. The Museum’s Zuckert Seminar Room provided a space for holding class visits, in which students studied the objects included in this exhibition over the course of the semester.
This online exhibition presents the culmination of these efforts, and is structured to reflect the exhibition’s conceptual development into four thematic and geographic sections—Power Objecs: Central Africa; Representations of Womanhood: West Africa; Projecting Power: Akan Society; and Unpacking African Art: Beyond Africa. Within each section of the online exhibition, we share an introduction to that area and short texts about the included artworks prepared by the students.