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The Walters Art Museum presents “Ethiopia at the Crossroads” – theartwolf


Ethiopia - Folding Processional Icon - Walters

From 3 December 2023 to 7 March 2024, the Walters Art Museum presents an extraordinary display of Ethiopian art exploring over 1,750 years of Ethiopian culture and history through over 225 objects.

Source: The Walters Art Museum · Image: Folding Processional Icon in the Shape of a Fan (detail). Ethiopia, late 15th century · The Walters Art Museum, Creative Commons License, retrieved from https://art.thewalters.org/detail/27195/folding-processional-icon-in-the-shape-of-a-fan/

Co-organized by the Walters Art Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the Toledo Museum of Art, Ethiopia at the Crossroads is the first major art exhibition in America to examine an array of Ethiopian cultural and artistic traditions from their origins to the present day and to chart the ways in which engaging with surrounding cultures manifested in Ethiopian artistic practices. The Walters, which holds one of the most extensive collections of Ethiopian art outside of Ethiopia, is uniquely suited to explore this artistic, cultural, and religious history.

Ethiopia at the Crossroads delves into Ethiopian art as reflective of the nation’s notable history, including its status as an early adopter of Christianity, and demonstrates its enormous cultural significance through the themes of cross-cultural exchange. In particular, the exhibition traces the creation and movement of art objects, styles, and materials into and out of Ethiopia, whether across the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean, or within the African continent, including across the Sahel and along the Mediterranean coast.

Ethiopia at the Crossroads moves beyond the traditional Western perceptions of Ethiopian culture and re-centers both our understanding of the country’s significant artistic traditions and its connections to the wider world. This exhibition demonstrates Ethiopia’s foundational role in world culture, religion, and the humanities, while illuminating the specific ways in which Ethiopian artists and communities encountered and exchanged ideas with other cultures near and far,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director. “Over the last three decades the Walters has built the most important collection of Ethiopian art outside of that nation, devoted curatorial resources to explore this collection area, and invested in conservation research and treatment for these objects. This new exhibition is the culmination of this long-term investment, an outstanding opportunity to share these remarkable works with our community, including the significant Ethiopian diaspora community in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area.”



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