April 21, 2023 1:00 pm

African Arts

Please join us on April 21 at 1PM Eastern Time for African Arts, a Virtual Salon co-sponsored by the Association of Historians of Nineteenth-Century Art (AHNCA) and the Dahesh Museum of Art. This online event is free and open to the public, but registration is required: 

For this event, we are fortunate to host three speakers and a moderator to discuss this important area of nineteenth-century studies: Kristen Windmuller Luna (Moderator), Sandrine Colard, Helina Gebremedhenand Constantine Petridis. Each speaker will give a brief presentation on an object drawn from their research, followed by discussion and then a Q&A. 


Sandrine Colard is Assistant Professor of Art History at Rutgers University-Newark, a researcher, and a curator-at-large at Kanal-Pompidou in Brussels. Holding a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Colard is a historian of modern and contemporary African arts and photography and has lectured internationally (MoMA, Concordia University, EHESS, Wiels, Tate Modern, Bozar, Sorbonne, European Parliament, etc.) She has written for numerous publications (African Arts, Critical Interventions, etc.). Colard was the curator of the 6th Lubumbashi Biennale, Future Genealogies: Tales from the Equatorial Line (Lubumbashi, DRC, 2019). Other exhibitions include: The Way She Looks: A History of Female Gazes in African Portraiture. Photographs from The Walther Collection (Ryerson Image Center, Toronto, 2019), and Recaptioning Congo (FOMU, Antwerp, 2022). Her research has been supported by fellowships from quai Branly Museum, Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, the Ford Foundation, and the Getty/ACLS. She is at work on her book about the history of photography in the colonial Congo. 

Helina Gebremedhen is a PhD student at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and currently the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Leigh and Mary Carter Director’s Research Fellow. Specializing in medieval Islamic and African art history, her research focuses on medieval Ethiopia within the context of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean regions, with a special interest in the cultural, political, and commercial networks that connected these spaces and societies. Research interests include the circulation of Islamic metalwork across East Africa, ajami texts, talismanic practices, and historiography of these regions and visual cultures. She earned a MA in History from McGill University, Montréal, and an honors BA in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto, Canada. 

Constantine Petridis, who earned a PhD in art history from Ghent University in his native Belgium, has been chair and curator of Arts of Africa at the Art Institute of Chicago since 2016. His most recent publications include Speaking of Objects: African Art at the Art Institute of Chicago (2020) and The Language of Beauty in African Art (2022), which accompanied a traveling exhibition of the same name. Before coming to Chicago, he held research, curatorial, and teaching positions at the Research Foundation-Flanders, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Case Western Reserve University, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Kristen Windmuller-Luna is the Curator of African Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art. A first-generation college graduate, she received her PhD in African Art and Architecture from Princeton University. She has previously held curatorial positions at institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, the Princeton University Art Museum, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in addition to working as a museum educator and a university lecturer. Recent exhibitions include “Threads Across Time: African Textiles, 500-1993” in Stories from Storage (2021) at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and African Arts––Global Conversations (2020) and One: Egúngún (2019) at the Brooklyn Museum. Her publications have appeared in Res: Anthropology and AestheticsAfrican ArtsNka: Journal of Contemporary African Art; and the Metropolitan Museum Journal, among others. Her next exhibition considers links between northern and eastern Africa and the Byzantine Empire. She serves on the boards of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association and the journal African Arts.