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The House Was Too Small: Sacred Yoruba Arts from Africa and Beyond

The House Was Too Small: Sacred Yoruba Arts from Africa and Beyond

October 29, 2023–Summer 2024

Opening program Saturday, October 28
Details to come

Featuring more than 100 remarkable works from Nigeria, Benin, Brazil, Cuba, and the United States, this exhibition highlights pan-Yoruba theological principles as expressed through a variety of art forms including sculpture, beadwork, and ritual costume design. Juxtaposing material representations of West African Òrìṣàs (divinities) with those of diasporic Afro-Brazilian Orixás and Afro-Cuban Orichas, the exhibition will illustrate key conceptual and aesthetic continuities across the Yoruba Atlantic as well as regional innovations. Artist and abolitionist Patrisse Cullors will contribute a live performance and an installation titled Free Us, a multimedia work that unveils the resilience of these pan-Atlantic Yoruba divinities.

The exhibition team is comprised of academics, activists, artists, religious community advisors, and curators including: Rowland Ọlá Abíọ́dún (John C. Newton Professor of Art History and Black Studies, Amherst College); Andrew Apter (Professor of History, UCLA); (Roberto Conduru (Endowed Distinguished Professor of Art History, SMU); Patrisse Cullors (Artist, author, abolitionist); Amos Dyson (Olowu, Ifa Temple Otura Tukaa); Ysamur Flores-Peña (Associate Professor, Otis School of Art); Erica P. Jones (Curator of African Arts, Fowler Museum); Elizabeth Pérez (Associate Professor of Religion, UCSB); and Patrick A. Polk (Senior Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Popular Arts, Fowler Museum).

Image: Artist(s) unknown (Yoruba people, Nigeria), Ogo elegba (dance wand), collected prior to 1958; wood, cowrie shells, leather, indigo; Fowler Museum at UCLA, X64.311

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