Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art: Featuring the Bernard and Patricia Wagner Collection

January 16, 2009 – March 1, 2009

This nationally traveling exhibition explores the relationship between art and the spiritual world in Yoruba culture through nearly 70 extraordinary works in diverse media. For the Yoruba, one of Africa’s oldest and most influential cultures, works of art give visual form to the divine and inspire religious devotion. In turn, they are made powerful by spiritual forces. The exhibition features shrines, beaded regalia, and other royal objects that honor important deities; an array of ritual implements that aid spiritual communication; and spectacular masks and costumes that dramatize the sublime. It is accompanied by a 120-page catalogue by VCU professor of art history Dr. Babatunde Lawal.

Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art was organized by the Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia.