The Art of the Dogon Smith Opening May 7 at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery - 263

PLYMOUTH — An exhibition on the art of the Dogon Smith peoples of the Western African nation of Mali will be displayed May 7-17 in the special collections room at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building at Plymouth State University. The exhibition will open at 6 p.m. on May 7.
The exhibition coincides with a lecture on the Dogon culture by Professor Hans Guggenheim at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center for the Arts. There is no charge for admission to either event.
Dogon art is primarily a sculptural expression, largely figurative in subject matter. The themes are based on religious subjects and cultural attributes. Interestingly, such works are kept in the privacy of family homes, largely in secret. Perhaps this is due to the symbolic and ceremonial nature of the work. The Dogon learned early on to work with iron, which adds a complex medium to the strength of the artists' visions.
The exhibition presents a selection of Dogon art objects made of iron, wood and clay collected by Professor Hans Guggenheim on study missions to Mali.
The Dogon people are quite singular in West African culture in that they have resisted conversion to Islam and Christianity, maintaining their theocratic system based around the ancestor spirit, Nommo.