Africa

Subjects and Subjugation: Swahili Coast Studio Photography in Global Circulation

By the 1850s, commercial photography studios could be found all across the globe, with people in disparate locations holding similar standing poses in front of standardized backdrops. The essay addresses different manifestations of early photography in eastern Africa, including how to critically approach the subjects pictured in colonial photographs created for international consumption.

Closing the Gap: Picasso and Narrating More Specific African Identities in Modernism

The names, cultures, and nationalities of African artists who influenced Picasso have historically been omitted from scholarship. Yet Picasso’s interest in African masks is well-known. In this essay, MoMA staff member Kunbi Oni charts the implications— and possibilities—that closer attention to the makers of such masks could shed on modern art.