Webber, the artist accompanying Captain James Cook
on his third and fi nal voyage. The textiles are installed
alongside the museum’s remarkable collection of important
Pacifi c sculptures, many of which are internationally
known from the former Masco collection.
WORLD ON THE HORIZON
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Located at the crossroads of
Africa and the Indian Ocean, the Swahili coast has
been a vibrant arena of global cultural convergence
for more than a millennium. Peoples from the Arabian
Peninsula, Asia, Africa, and Europe have long
journeyed across the Indian Ocean in many directions,
and on the coast of East Africa this confl uence of peoples
gave rise to many diverse communities that are
often called “Swahili,” after the Arabic word meaning
“edge” or “coast.” Swahili coast artworks
have been shaped by these complex migrations,
the formation of new empires, and
the making and unmaking of communities
and social identities. World on the Horizon:
Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean,
an exhibition developed by the Krannert
Museum of Art and now at the National
Museum of African Art, explores Swahili
arts as objects of mobility, outcomes of
encounter, and as products of trade and
imperialism. Works from different regions
and time periods come together in this exhibition
to reveal the movement of artistic
forms, motifs, and preferences and to refl
ect the changing meanings they may carry
during the course of their life histories.
World on the Horizon can be seen at the Smithsonian
until September 3, 2018, after which it will be at the
Fowler Museum at UCLA.
LEFT: Door frame (detail).
Kenya, Pate Island, Siyu.
Lamu Museum, National Museums
BELOW: Qur’an manuscript.
Kenya, Pate Island.
Late 18th–19th century.
Paper, ink, leather.
Courtesy of Ahmed Hamid
Mohammed Khalfan al Husni.
BELOW: Installation view of
World on the Horizon.
Krannert Museum of Art, University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
ABOVE: Poncho, tiputa.
Niue. Mid 19th century.
Mark and Carolyn Blackburn,
courtesy of the Los Angeles County
Museum of Art.
Michael Occhionero Photography,
ABOVE: Installation view of
the Art of the Pacifi c gallery
at the Los Angeles County
Museum of Art.
Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.
Schönheit (East African
Beauty). Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Early 20th century.