Go Experience “Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa” at Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix
On November 8, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix opened one of its most stunning exhibits – Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa.
More than 150 stunning and rare masks, instruments, and costumes from the late 1800s to early 1900s are available for viewing.
Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa introduces masks from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) alongside musical instruments, archival photography and videos that will immerse you in the experience of mask performances.
Masquerades are one of Central Africa’s most vibrant and resilient art forms. Among their many purposes, masks may appear in the context of coming-of-age rituals and ceremonies. they may demonstrate supernatural powers, they may be used in warfare, they may uphold the authority of leaders and much more.
I visited the Musical Instrument Museum in early November and I was blown away by my conversation with Marc Felix, board member and co-curator of the Congo Masks and Music exhibit. He loaned many of the masterpiece masks and instruments and his personal experiences with the Central Africa region were essential to the educational aspect of this project.
During my recent visit at MIM, I talked briefly with Felix about his collection of masks and asked why it was important for him to share these artifacts with the world.
“I have been collecting since 1960,” said Felix. “I have fine-tuned my collection process over the years because I only have so much money and so much time.
“I’ve written 30 books and I’ve done exhibitions in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
“In 2001, I went to China. Seven million people in China saw my collection. I did 30 shows there. Last year I was in Richmond and now I’m here.”
“Now this is the end of my career because I’m going to be 80 soon. I’m proud that I’ve been able to spread the word about Africa to millions to people.”
The Congo Masks and Music: Masterpieces from Central Africa exhibition will be on display at the Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, until September 13, 2020.
Go see this powerful exhibit as soon as you can!
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Exhibtion dates, programming are subject to change without notice.