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New Museum of the African Diaspora opens in San Francisco
Opening on December 3 in San Francisco’s SOMA district, the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is dedicated to celebrating the universal connection of all people through a common association with Africa, the cradle of humankind. According to the museum’s organizers, “Whether we live in India, Fiji, Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, or the United States, everyone is part of the African Diaspora, literally the scattering of people from their homeland—as Africa is the original birthplace of us all.”
MoAD will examine our ancient connection to Africa, as well as the more recent dispersal of millions from Africa through the Middle Passage. Using art as a catalyst for exploration and discussion, MoAD’s programs are designed to change the way we view the modern world, encouraging an appreciation of diversity and the interconnectedness of all humanity.
Located at the corner of Mission and Third streets on the first three floors of the new five-star St. Regis Hotel and Towers, MoAD is situated at one of the country’s busiest cultural crossroads, near the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Moscone Convention Center, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the California Historical Society.
Designed with an emphasis on new applications in media, MoAD will feature cutting-edge technology in its exhibition design, including an interactive theater and a global education center linking in-person visitors with virtual visitors experiencing MoAD through the Internet. In addition to both special exhibitions and technology-driven permanent exhibits, the Museum will offer lectures, scholarly colloquia, concerts, satellite conversations, a film series, travel programs, and ongoing educational programs for children and teens.
Linkages and Themes in the African Diaspora: Selections from the Eileen Harris Norton and Peter Norton Contemporary Art Collections (November 26, 2005 – March 12, 2006) illustrates the four universal themes that define MoAD: origin, movement, transformation, and adaptation. The exhibit comprises 39 works including photographs, paintings, mixed media, video, and new genre work by iona rozeal brown, Hew Locke, Willie Cole, Glenn Ligon, Malick Sidibe, Kerry James Marshall, Belkis Ayon, Alison Saar, Yinka Shonibare, David Hammons, Kara Walker, Chris Ofili, Fred Wilson, Gary Simmons, Isaac Julien, Carrie Mae Weems, Nzuji De Magalhaes, Lamar Peterson, Mark S. Bradford, Ana Mendieta, Albert Chong, and Lorna Simpson.
Made in Africa (December 1, 2005 – March 12, 2006) features the oldest objects in the British Museum’s collection: stone tools made in Africa nearly two million years ago. On loan from London for the first time, the exhibit is comprised of three stone tools found at the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.
Three artists of African descent were invited to create new works for Dispersed: African Legacy/New World Reality (November 26, 2005 – March 12, 2006). Cuban artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, San Francisco native Mildred Howard, and Brazilian artist Marepe (Marcos Reis Peixoto) investigate their origins while navigating through contemporary art practices to locate ways to intervene and use modes of expression that highlight their specific cultural voices. By telling stories of black lives that have colored the evolution of many New World cultures, these artists reinterpret and reassess their individual and collective identities.