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Conserve the Egungun: Help Get Our African Mask Ready for Display

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Project has ended
Project ended on September 17, at 11:59 PM EDT
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Conserve the Egungun: Help Get Our African Mask Ready for Display

Michael C. Carlos Museum


Our African Egungun mask will be on display soon

In preparation for an upcoming special exhibition, the Michael C. Carlos Museum has undertaken a substantial conservation project on an Egungun, a traditional Yoruba mask from Nigeria, to stabilize the materials and prepare it for display. This costume will be displayed alongside historical masks and divination objects in conjunction with DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance, an exhibition of contemporary work by Emory alumnus Dr. Fahamu Pecou 17G 18G that will open January 19, 2019. This exhibition has already met with critical acclaim during its inaugural run at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, and it is eagerly anticipated by the Carlos Museum, which will exhibit eleven additional works from its own collections in an adjacent gallery to show the way in which this historical tradition has continued and changed over the last century.


Egungun with Shoes.  Yoruba.  late 20th Century.  Fabric, sequins, wood.  Gift of Dr. Larry J. and Barbara Schulz in honor of David Edwards and Catherine Bean Kaylor.


Help us conserve the Carlos Museum's Egungun

The conservation of textiles is particularly difficult, and the amount of time and degree of care that is required for the conservation of an object as large as this Egungun is tremendous. This piece is essential to the discussion of the traditions involved in Yoruba masquerade and will play a featured role in the exhibition, serving as one visual reference point for Fahamu Pecou’s work.

The opening of this exhibition in January 2019 will kick off an entire year of celebrations honoring the Michael C. Carlos Museum’s centennial. Help us complete this final step and ensure that this Egungun is ready, not just for its debut in January, but also for display and study for years to come.

Kparamonle Section of Egungun

DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance has been organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, in collaboration with the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University.

Egungun masks in Abomey, Benin. Source: Davide Comelli, Creative Commons.

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In 2019, the Michael C. Carlos Museum will mark its centennial—help us kick off the celebration in style!



The conservation plan for a large object like this traditional mask is projected to take more than 50 hours of work by Patricia Ewer, our contract textile conservator.



Special exhibitions like DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, and Resistance provide special highlights on topics that you might not see in the permanent galleries. This exhibition will kick off our 100th anniversary!



As you step into the galleries, you’ll be surrounded on all sides (360 degrees) by remarkable works by Fahamu Pecou, placed in context with historical objects from the Yoruba tradition, including the Egungun we’re conserving here.



More than 70,000 people visit the Michael C. Carlos Museum every year, including more than 20,000 schoolchildren.



The Michael C. Carlos Museum, then the Emory Museum of Art and Archaeology, was formally chartered on the Atlanta campus in 1919.

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