Trade and Empire: African Art's Golden Age
The 2020 Ruth K. Franklin Lecture on the Arts of Africa, Oceania, And the Americas: Gus Casely-Hayford
The richest of arts do not just symbolize historic moments; these arts are tools that carve out empires. Dr. Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, explains how the challenges posed by the Southern Atlantic Ocean thwarted West African leaders’ attempts to expand over centuries. Notably, in the fourteenth century, the young Emperor of Mali, Mansa Musa, set out across the Sahara, reaching towards Mecca and created a legendary exchange of arts that we continue to value today.
Dr. Casely-Hayford received his doctorate in African History from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and has spoken and published extensively on Africa’s arts and cultures. He has presented two series of Lost Kingdoms of Africa for the BBC, among other programs.
We gratefully acknowledge support from the Ruth K. Franklin Lecture and Symposium Fund.
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