Two new exhibitions will open Saturday at the Figge Art Museum. Kara Walker: Emancipation Approximation and Black Dolls From the Collection of Deborah Neff will be on display in the fourth floor gallery.
Kara Walker: The Emancipation Approximation, a suite of twenty-seven silkscreen prints and a gift from Brent Sikkema for the museum’s 10thanniversary, features the provocative silhouettes for which Walker is known. An allegory of the aftermath of the Civil War, the suite addresses the harsh realities of slavery and its continuing effect on American society and racial identity.
Black Dolls From the Collection of Deborah Neff presents over 100 unique handmade dolls created between 1850 and 1940 that portray African American boys and girls, elegant young ladies and determined women of mature years. The dolls are believed to have been created by African Americans for children they knew – including members of their own families and white children in their charge. Rare nineteenth-and-twentieth-century photographs of dolls, clutched by their young owners will also be on view.
While Kara Walker uses a traditional craft medium, the silhouette, to present contemporary social commentary, the black dolls from the Collection of Deborah Neff represent a craft tradition that also, in its own way, speaks to the history of race relations in the United States.
Both exhibitions are sponsored by Schafer Interiors and will be on view through August 27. Admission to the museum is free May 27-September 3 thanks to the Bechtel Trusts and John Deere Classic and media support from the Quad-City Times.
Black Dolls Opening Reception
Thursday, June 1
5:30 p.m. Opening Reception
7 p.m. Curator Talk
Curator Christine Knoke Hietbrink, director of exhibitions at the Mingei International Museum, will introduce Black Dolls and share the process of building this collection.
10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 24
Kids, their big people and everyone in between are invited to participate in scheduled activities and art projects throughout the studios, galleries and plaza all inspired by the summer exhibitions.
Thursday, June 29
5:30 p.m. Social Hour
7 p.m. Artist Talks
Three Quad-Cities artists will respond to Kara Walker’s artwork.
Exhibition Highlights Tours
1:30 p.m. Saturdays, June 24, July 8 & 22, August 12
1:30 p.m. Sundays, June 18, July 16 & 30, August 5