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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 352

The MET : Gallery 352 : African Art

Art From Us, Museum Guide #582

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #582 the spotlight is on the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) NY’s Gallery 352. Showcasing a collection of African Art.

The three works in focus are :

  1. Plaque : Warrior and Attendants, from 16th – 17th century.
  2. Headdress, from the late 19th – 20th century.
  3. Powerful Figure : Male (Nkisi), from the 19th – mid 20th century.

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us, Museum Guide #582

Welcome to the Art From Us, Museum Guide #582.

Gallery 352 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art categorizes its treasures geographically – it house objects from Central and Southeastern Africa, West Africa and the Benin Kingdom.

Today, we propose to explore the third section, the Benin Empire.

The Beginning of Benin

The Kingdom of Benin was located in a dense forest, North to the Niger river. The Niger was an important means of trade and travel.

The Kingdom of Benin originated in the 1st century when the Edo people made small settlements in the forest and over time began to build an empire. The kingdom at the time was called Igodomigodo and the rulers were dubbed a Ogisos. It was around the 2nd century when the Ogisos began to lose control of the empire and had to ask their neighbours, the King of Ife to help them at battle. The King’s son Oranmiyan came to their aid and later nominated his own son, Eweka to become the first ruler of Benin.

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