Great Washington Museums: The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art’s signature works by a woman artist, Magdalene Anyango N. Odundo’s Reduced Angled Spouted Black Piece. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!

Magdalene Anyango N. Odundo, Reduced Angled Spouted Black Piece, 1990; Ceramic, 17 ½ x 11 ¼ x 11 ¼ in.; Museum purchase

Magdalene Anyango N. Odundo, Reduced Angled Spouted Black Piece, 1990; Ceramic, 17 ½ x 11 ¼ x 11 ¼ in.; Museum purchase

Magdalene Odundo’s works illustrate a deliberate association with African and European modernist forms, referring to world ceramic history and technique. She regards her subtle, elegant pieces as non-utilitarian containers of form and color. Odundo’s works are hand-coiled, scraped smooth with a gourd, coated with slips and burnished. The color is dependent upon the firing technique. Her black pots are stuffed with combustibles (wood chips and shavings) and undergo a second firing. On view throughout 2012. Also in 2012, the museum is hosting the exhibition Lalla Essaydi: Revisions, May 9, 2012–February 24, 2013.

National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue SW; http://africa.si.edu