With July at hand, the Kimbell Art Museum’s landmark exhibition The Language of Beauty in African Art is entering its final weeks on view. Visitors have until July 31 to see the first exhibition of African art at the Kimbell in more than 25 years, and the museum is offering free admission on selected days in conjunction with special events and programs throughout the month.
The Language of Beauty in African Art features an array of sculptures, masks and prestige objects representing 56 diverse cultures from West, Central and southern Africa. The exhibition includes more than 200 objects installed throughout the Renzo Piano Pavilion.
“The Language of Beauty in African Art is arguably the most important exhibition of African art in decades at any museum,” says Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum. “For years, African art has been understood through a dominantly Eurocentric perspective that assigned meanings of beauty and importance to these objects. This exhibition reevaluates these works using the very words and perspectives of the people who made and used them.”
The exhibition was organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Kimbell is the first and only venue apart from the Institute where visitors can experience this diverse grouping of objects, many of which have never been on view to the public.
Special events scheduled for the exhibition’s final weeks include:
Blue Star Families Day
SUNDAY, JULY 3, noon–5 p.m.
In celebration of Independence Day and in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Kimbell will offer active military, veterans and their families free admission to the special exhibition The Language of Beauty in African Art.
Jazz on the Green
FRIDAY, JULY 15, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Piano Pavilion and Lawn
Bring a blanket or lawn chair and listen to the sounds of talented local musician Tatiana “LadyMay” Mayfield. Admission to the special exhibition The Language of Beauty in African Art is free all day long. Free activity kits for kids will be offered (while supplies last). Light snacks and a variety of beverages will be available for purchase. Vendors will include Salsa Limón, Luckey G’s Bistro, Melt Ice Creams and a Kimbell Café bar.
Family Festival: Summer Art Party with Ice Cream Sunday
Fiesta de la Familia: Fiesta de verano de arte con helado el domingo
SUNDAY, JULY 17, noon–5 p.m.
Celebrate art and community during free events that feature live performances, art making, gallery explorations and more. Admission for special exhibitions is waived for all visitors during Family Festivals. In addition to enjoying family activities, beat the summer heat with complimentary ice cream, while supplies last. (Special thanks to the Nuestro Kimbell committee for their support of Kimbell community programs)
FREE PUBLIC PROGRAMS
The Language of Beauty in African Art
THROUGH JULY 15
TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS and THURSDAYS, 3 p.m.
FRIDAYS, 6:30 p.m.
Learn about the current special exhibition during docent-guided tours that provide historical context, discuss overarching themes and highlight individual artworks. Space is limited.
The Language of Beauty: Second Saturdays
Kinfolk House Artist-Led Workshop
SATURDAY, JULY 9, 2 p.m.
Piano Pavilion (No registration required)
Free afternoon events featuring guest artists from across Dallas-Fort Worth’s thriving visual and performing arts scene. Hosted in conjunction with the special exhibition The Language of Beauty in African Art, each unique program will celebrate vibrant cultural traditions and diverse forms of expression from Africa and the African diaspora.
Celebrate community and personal creativity during drop-in studio program led by multidisciplinary artist Angela Faz, whose work is currently featured at Kinfolk House, a collaborative project space located in the Black and Latina/e/o neighborhood of Polytechnic in Fort Worth.
Africa’s Great Civilizations
SELECTED SUNDAYS, 2 p.m.
No registration required. Seating is limited.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through 200,000 years of history, from the origins of art, writing and civilization itself on the African continent through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations but also the wider world.
The Atlantic Age (2017, 60 min.)
Commerce and the Clash of Civilizations (2017, 60 min.)
DISCUSSIONS AND WORKSHOPS FOR ADULTS
SELECTED WEDNESDAYS, 2–4:30 p.m.
Piano Pavilion, Education Studios
Spark your intellectual curiosity and creativity during afternoon programs that combine thematic gallery tours with hands-on art activities for adults of all ages.
Handmade: Between Utility and Whimsy
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, by Helen Oyeyemi (2017)
FRIDAY, JULY 29, 5:30–7 p.m.
Piano Pavilion, Education Studios
Participants explore connections in the literary and visual arts through group discussions and special presentations on selected books.
Admission to The Language of Beauty in African Art is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, K–12 educators, students and military personnel, $14 for ages 6–11, free for children under 6 and $3 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. Admission is half-price all day on Tuesdays and after 5 p.m. on Fridays. Admission to the museum’s permanent collection is always free.
The Kimbell Art Museum is open Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fridays, noon–8 p.m.; Sundays, noon–5 p.m.; closed Mondays, New Year’s Day, July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For general information, call 817-332-8451.
ABOUT THE KIMBELL ART MUSEUM
The Kimbell Art Museum, owned and operated by the Kimbell Art Foundation, is internationally renowned for both its collections and its architecture. The Kimbell’s collections range in period from antiquity to the 20th century and include European masterpieces by artists such as Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Bernini, Velázquez, Vigée Le Brun, Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse; important collections of Egyptian and classical antiquities; and the art of Asia, Africa and the Ancient Americas.
The museum’s 1972 building, designed by the American architect Louis I. Kahn, is widely regarded as one of the outstanding architectural achievements of the modern era. A second building, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, opened in 2013 and now provides space for special exhibitions, dedicated classrooms and a 289-seat auditorium with excellent acoustics for music. For more information, visit kimbellart.org.
Information for this article was provided by the Kimbell Art Museum.