This guide provides information and links to additional resources about the artists included the Krannert Art Museum's exhibition, Spheres of Influence: African Vessels from the KAM Collection, January 29-May 15, 2016. If you need help finding additional information, please contact the Ricker Library.
In Krannert Art Museum's ongoing effort to highlight rarely seen works from the collection, Spheres of Influence features a selection of 24 ceramic pots from regions across Africa.
Visually compelling for their robust yet elegant forms and beautifully restrained surface designs, these vessels are also highly social objects. Used for storing grains or personal possessions, cooking, brewing beer, containing and cooling water, housing spirits or medicinal substances, or as communicative devices and markers of prestige, pots perform critical roles in the everyday, ceremonial, and political lives of their communities.
Made predominantly by women artists with deep knowledge of local materials, molding and firing techniques, and the logics of design and efficient form, pots also embody a politics of gender. Women’s close identification with their vessels and control over the process of their production attest to the power of women’s creative labor and their ability to transform earth into containers of enduring meaning, value, and sociality.
Materials accessed in this guide are provided for personal and/or scholarly use. Users are responsible for obtaining any copyright permissions that may be required for their own further uses of that material. For more information about fair use please refer to the College Art Association Code of Best Practices in Fair Use in the Visual Arts.