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"Striking Iron" at the Fowler: The Craft of African Blacksmiths


Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation viewStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation viewStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation viewStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.com2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comNsimbi perform live at the Arts of Africa Festival.; Credit: Courtesy of the artistsStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comKabre blacksmith Kossi Kao shaping the initiation gong ekpande. TcharéStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.com2010; Credit: Tom JoyceStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comArtist unknown (Yorùbá peoplesStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comlate 19th to early 20th century. Iron. Courtesy of the Fowler Museum; Credit: Don ColeStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comArtist unknown (Kabre peoplesStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.commid–20th century. IronStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.commid–20th century. IronStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comKuwdéStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.com2010; Credit: Tom JoyceStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comKabre family members supporting initiates during Waa initiation ceremonyStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comTogoStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comTogoStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comCameroonStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.com1984. Eliot Elisofon Photographic ArchivesStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comNational Museum of African ArtStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comNational Museum of African ArtStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comDemocratic Republic of the Congo). Power figure (nkisi nkondi)Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comironStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.commirrorStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comcordageStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comcowrie shells (Cypraea moneta). Courtesy of the Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Don ColeStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comArtist unknown (ViliStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comYombe peoplesStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comDemocratic Republic of the Congo). Janus power figure of a dog (nkisi nkondi Mbwa)Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comwoodStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.complant fiberStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comwarthog tusksStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.comHoustonStriking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths. Installation view, 2018. Fowler Museum at UCLA; Credit: Joshua White-JWPictures.com

The Fowler Museum at UCLA is presenting the landmark survey “Striking Iron,” which surveys the sophisticated craftsmanship and symbolism of several pan-African blacksmithing traditions of many centuries. On view through Dec. 30, this acclaimed and engaging exhibition is unique for the viscerally evocative range of art in the service of worship, weddings, weaponry and workmanship.

Also on view, “World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean” examines the cultural intersections between and among peoples from the Arabian Peninsula, Asia, Africa, and Europe whose trade and migratory routes crisscrossed the Indian Ocean many times over.

The Fowler is hosing a free, family-friendly Arts of Africa Festival on Sunday, Nov. 4, as well as the two-day Striking Iron Symposium. Read more about these events and learn about the objects pictured from “Striking Iron's” lead curator here.