For folks in Madrid this September, the exhibition “Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria” will be on display after being shown in Santander, Spain. In 2010, the exhibition will move to the British Museum in London and will also come to North America.
Below is a bit of background from the Nigerian Tribune’s coverage of the exhibition:
Over the course of some four centuries, artists at Ife created sculpture that ranks among the most aesthetically striking and technically sophisticated in the world.
Today, the city of Ife is still a spiritual heartland for the 29 million Yoruba people living in Nigeria and countless descendants in the Americas and elsewhere in the world.
The present Ooni, or traditional ruler, of Ife, His Royal Majesty, Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubase II, heads one of the longest surviving monarchies in the world.
Some of the objects in the exhibition, including a copper mask said to represent the 14th century ruler, Obalufon II, were kept in the Ooni’s palace until the 1950s, when they were transferred to the Nigerian Department of Antiquities for purposes of conservation, study, and display.