Past Exhibitions

Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World

December 8, 2019 – May 31, 2020

Make Me a Summary of the World brings together several of Banerjee’s monumental installations in conversation with more than two dozen sculptures, as well as a thorough selection of works on paper to create an otherworldly and multi-sensory space. Using a variety of gathered materials ranging from African jewelry to colorful feathers, light bulbs, and Murano glass, Banerjee’s works investigate the splintered experiences of identity, tradition, and culture, prevalent in diasporic communities. These sensuous assemblages present themselves simultaneously as familiar and unfamiliar, thriving on tensions between visual cultures and raising questions about exoticism, cultural appropriation, globalization, and feminism.

Fowler in Focus: On Display in the Walled City: Nigeria at the British Empire Exhibition, 1924–1925

September 8, 2019–March 8, 2020

On Display in the Walled City: Nigeria at the British Empire Exhibition, 1924–1925, features 38 objects from the Fowler’s famed Wellcome Collection, acquired from the Nigerian Pavilion during the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley, 1924–1925. Approximately 20 Nigerian men and women were invited to participate as artists in the exhibition, which showcased British wealth and supremacy while simultaneously stimulating trade with and among its various colonies. The artists’ families lived in the Walled City, where the Nigerian Pavilion was located, and demonstrated their crafts daily to visitors. The Fowler’s presentation includes a model of the royal altar for Oba Ovonramwen from the Kingdom of Benin; various ritual and domestic objects made by Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, and Kanuri artists; and entry doors, carved on site, from the homes where artists lived. On Display in the Walled City gives the Fowler an opportunity to share some of the research it is doing on its Wellcome Collection (donated to the museum in 1965 by the Wellcome Trust in London) and to offer new insights into the colonial enterprise in Nigeria.

Through Positive Eyes

September 15, 2019 – February 16, 2020

Through Positive Eyes is a large-scale photography and storytelling project created in collaboration with more than 130 people living with HIV/AIDS. The exhibition includes photography and video by artist-activists from 10 cities across the globe and a sculpture installation by Los Angeles–based multimedia artist Alison Saar. Combined, these works conjure a broad picture of the epidemic—ranging from everyday imagery to more abstract meditations on joy, grief, solitude, and resilience. Public programs will incorporate live storytelling in the gallery performed twice weekly by seven HIV-positive Angelenos known as the Los Angeles Through Positive Eyes Collective. This multitude of perspectives and voices coalesce around one core tenet: a belief that challenging stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS is the most effective method for combating the epidemic.

India’s Subterranean Stepwells: Photographs by Victoria Lautman

May 5 – October 20, 2019

Since the 600 CE, stepwells have served as water-harvesting systems that descend into the earth and enable communities to access the water table or rainwater gathered below. A selection of 48 photographs by journalist Victoria Lautman captures the diversity and sublime beauty of these architectural marvels.

Guatemalan Masks: Selections from the Jim and Jeanne Pieper Collection

April 7 – October 6, 2019

Traditional Guatemalan dance-dramas come to life in a vivid installation of 80 wood masks depicting animals, folk personae, and historical figures that are deeply rooted in Guatemalan religiosity and popular culture. With some examples dating back a century or more, the masks offer insights into how the dances articulate community identities.

Dressed with Distinction: Garments from Ottoman Syria

March 17 – August 25, 2019

Dressed with Distinction: Garments from Ottoman Syria explores the region’s textile production during the late-19th and early 20th centuries, when Syria was an international hub for the trade and production of handwoven cloth. With a focus on the social and seasonal contexts in which garments were worn by men, women, and children, the exhibition’s presentation of these distinguished textiles enables audiences to engage with Syrian culture and weaving techniques from a bygone era.

Inheritance: Recent Video Art from Africa

February 17 – July 28, 2019

This exhibition features video works by contemporary African artists who are contending with inherited political, social, and environmental realities in their respective countries. The artists—Kudzanai Chiurai (b. 1981, Zimbabwe), Zina Saro-Wiwa (b. 1976, Nigeria), and Mikhael Subotzky (b. 1981, South Africa)—grapple with the ramifications of colonial legacies.

New Orleans Second Line Parades: Photographs by Pableaux Johnson

December 16, 2018 – April 28, 2019

Louisiana native Pableaux Johnson has been photographing Second Lines—or Sunday brass band parades—in New Orleans for over a decade. This exhibition presents more than 40 color portraits of members of African American Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs (SAPCs).

Summoning the Ancestors: Southern Nigerian Bronzes

September 16, 2018–March 10, 2019

This Fowler in Focus exhibition celebrates the promised gift of two large marvelous collections of bronze bells and ofos amassed by Mark Clayton. Originating in southern Nigeria, the bells and ofos were used in a variety of ritual contexts.

World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean

October 21, 2018—February 10, 2019

World on the Horizon 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 reflect the changing meanings they may carry during the course of their life histories.

Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths

June 3 – December 30, 2018

Assembled from public and private collections, Striking Iron reveals the history of invention and technical sophistication that led African blacksmiths to transform one of Earth’s most basic natural resources into objects of life-changing utility, empowerment, prestige, spiritual potency, and astonishing artistry

South of No North: Gato Negro Ediciones

July 22 – December 9, 2018

Building on the legacy of radical independent publishing in Mexico, Gato Negro Ediciones, led by activist designer León Muñoz Santini, creates and produces uniquely identifiable books across genres including art, photography, poetry, political discourse, and new editions of classic texts of resistance.

Fiiman Tembe: Maroon Arts from Suriname

April 15 – September 9, 2018

Maroon peoples of Suriname are renowned for tembe, traditional art forms that infuse everyday objects with personal and communal meaning. The 20th-century works on view exemplify the bold patterns, vivid color, brass studding, and needlework that typify utilitarian objects such as trays, doors, and textiles.

Pelotas Oaxaqueñas / Oaxacan Ball Games: Photographs by Leopoldo Peña

January 28 – July 15, 2018

A longtime resident of Los Angeles, Leopoldo Peña makes photographic works that center on themes of immigration and the environment. This series features black-and-white images of traditional ball games played by Oaxacan expatriates throughout Southern and Central California.

Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power

February 11 – July 1, 2018

Bread, Butter, and Power is a new large-scale painting cycle that explores the overarching theme of feminism and gendered divisions of labor throughout southern Africa. Mokgosi’s emphasis on narrative storytelling inspires the viewer to think deeply about the politics, power structures, and the role of history in the creation of the current nations of southern Africa.

Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis

September 24, 2017–April 15, 2018

This comprehensive exhibition of more than 100 works from the mid-20th century to the present, introduces audiences to the arts and culture of Salvador, the coastal capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia…

Dining with Kings: Ceremony and Hospitality in the Cameroon Grassfields

December 17, 2017 – April 8, 2018

Featuring works from the Fowler Museum’s collection, this exhibition will explore the connections between food culture and royal power in the palaces of the Cameroon Grassfields.

Africa/Americas: Photographic Portraits by Pierre Verger

September 10, 2017–January 21, 2018

Africa/Americas presents 32 stunning black-and-white images by renowned French photographer and anthropological researcher Pierre Verger (1902–1996).

How to Make the Universe Right: The Art of Priests and Shamans from Vietnam and Southern China

July 30, 2017–January 7, 2018

How to Make the Universe Right presents a large selection of rare religious scrolls, ceremonial clothing, and ritual objects of the Sán Dìu, Tày, Yao, and other populations of Vietnam and southern China…

Lineage Through Landscape: Tracing Egun in Brazil by Fran Siegel

July 23-December 10, 2017

Lineage Through Landscape is a multifaceted drawing project developed through Los Angeles-based artist Fran Siegel’s research residency in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and the island of Itaparica, a vibrant center of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé…

Pantsula 4 Lyf: Popular Dance and Fashion in Johannesburg 

January 29–September 3, 2017

Pantsula 4 LYF: Popular Dance and Fashion in Johannesburg will feature a series of photographs and videos taken by South African photographer Chris Saunders that examine the township culture of pantsula.

African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style

March 26–July 30, 2017

African-Print Fashion Now introduces visitors to a dynamic and diverse African dress tradition and the increasingly interconnected fashion worlds that it inhabits: “popular” African-print styles created by local seamstresses and tailors across the continent; international runway fashions designed by Africa’s newest generation of couturiers; and boundary-breaking, transnational, and youth styles favored in Africa’s urban centers…


Fowler in Focus: Joli! A Fancy Masquerade From Sierra Leone 

December 11, 2016–July 16, 2017

This exhibition features a rare group of 11 headdresses worn in Joli masquerades held in Sierra Leone’s capital city of Freetown in the 1970s. Joli headdresses are among the most unusual, complex, and elaborate masquerade configurations we know from sub-Saharan Africa…

Enduring Splendor: Jewelry of India’s Thar Desert

February 19–June 18, 2017

Enduring Splendor focuses on the rich and diverse silver jewelry traditions of India’s Thar Desert region, which stretches across the western states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. These traditions will be considered against the background of the five-thousand-year history of jewelry making across the vast Indian Subcontinent…

October 2, 2016–February 12, 2017

The Fowler Museum is pleased to present Nkame, the first solo museum exhibition in the United States dedicated to the work of Belkis Ayón (1967–1999)—the late Cuban visual artist who mined the founding myth of the Afro-Cuban fraternal society Abakuá…


Black with a Drop of Red: Contemporary Cuban Poster Work

October 16, 2016-January 22, 2017

Featuring posters of US movies, Cuban cultural events, and documentaries, this exhibition showcases the striking and influential work of Cuban graphic designers. Carefully chosen by Claudio Sotolongo, a designer and a professor based in Havana, the images reflect on Cuba’s fascination with cinema as well as its internal and external political struggles…

September 11, 2016–January 15, 2017

This dazzling exhibition features commissions by three dozen acclaimed international artists including Richard Tuttle, Cynthia Schira, Helena Hernmarck, James Bassler, Gyöngy Laky, Gerhardt Knodel, Sherri Smith…

August 14–December 4, 2016

The Wixárika people, commonly referred to as the Huichol, traditionally reside in Western Mexico. Since the 1960s, Wixárika artists have garnered international acclaim for their paintings (nierakate)…

May 15—October 9, 2016

In 1980 Stephen Verona made his initial trip to China to direct a co-produced American-Chinese film, the first in over forty years. The film crew traveled with Chinese escorts, including an army general, from Shanghai to…

April 24—August 28, 2016

Art of the Austronesians explores the history and development of the arts and cultures of the Austronesian-speaking peoples—from their prehistoric origins in what is now Taiwan to their successive seafaring migrations…

May 8—August 7, 2016

A museum’s collection is always in a state of change and transformation. New objects are regularly added to the permanent collection through gifts and purchases, and both donors and art dealers are key players in this process…

February  21 – July 17, 2016

Chicano activist, poet, artist, intellectual, professor, and musician, José Montoya (1932-2013) was a veritable Renaissance man. Montoya often found inspiration in the verdant fields of the San Joaquin Valley…

January 17—May 8, 2016

Featuring compelling images of festivals and political rallies, this exhibition highlights the extraordinary cultural diversity of the greater Los Angeles area. California-based photographer Bendat has…

January 10–May 1, 2016

The intriguing Lao-Tai textiles in this exhibition were collected by Professor Ellison Banks Findly in northeastern Laos. These textiles, produced by Tai weavers, reflect religious and spiritual beliefs, incorporating Buddhist and…

October 18, 2015–March 13, 2016

This dynamic exhibition considers the past, present, and future of disguise – a visual act that can be a mask, a costume, or simply a camouflage. Disguise features exciting new…


Treasured Textiles from the American Southwest: The Durango Collection®

September 13, 2015–January 10, 2016

This exhibition features southwestern textiles created during the nineteenth century – a time of tremendous change as American occupation and the eventual coming of the railroad and trading posts influenced commerce and the exchange of ideas among various residents of territorial New Mexico and Arizona…


A:shiwi A:wan Ulohnanne – The Zuni World

September 13, 2015–January 10, 2016

Recent paintings by ten Zuni artists, which emerged out of the Zuni Map Art Project, are showcased in this exhibition. This initiative by the A:shiwi A:wan Museum and Heritage Center seeks to raise awareness about Zuni cultural landscapes by using art as a medium for mapping…


Fowler in Focus: Encountering Ancient Colombia–A Journey through the Magdalena Valley

September 27, 2015–January 3, 2016

This exhibition presents a selection of rare objects from the Magdalena Valley, Colombia. Drawn primarily from the Muñoz Kramer Collection of ancient Colombian ceramics at the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), these works include fascinating vessels and sculptural forms, many never exhibited before…


Fowler In Focus: The Art of Hair in Africa

May 3—September 20, 2015

This exhibition presents an array of finely sculpted combs and hairpins from Africa and its diasporas, along with the film Me Broni Ba/My White Baby by Ghanaian-American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu. It explores the notions of ideal beauty and social status associated with hair among many African cultures…


Singular Spaces: From the Eccentric to the Extraordinary in Spanish Art Environments

April 12—September 6, 2015

This exhibition presents photographs by Jo Farb Hernández documenting the monumental art environments of eight self-taught artists from across Spain. Comprised of intriguing and idiosyncratic sculptures, gardens, and buildings, the sites developed organically without formal architectural or engineering plans…


Making Strange: Gagawaka + Postmortem by Vivan Sundaram

April 19–September 6, 2015

Making Strange brings together two striking bodies of work by Delhi-based contemporary artist Vivan Sundaram, founding member of the Sahmat Collective and one of the leading artists working in India today…


The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989

April 19—August 2, 2015

Since 1989, the Delhi-based Sahmat Collective has given artists, writers, poets, musicians, and actors a platform to create and present works of art that promote artistic freedom and celebrate secular, egalitarian values. This exhibition introduces Sahmat’s work to the United States and provides fresh insights into two timely subjects: contemporary visual art from India, and art as a force for political activism and social change…


Fowler in Focus: Fiftieth Anniversary Gifts

December 21, 2014–April 26, 2015

On the occasion of the Museum’s fiftieth anniversary many friends of the Fowler have made special donations of works of art. The selection of objects shown here represents our third and final Fowler in Focus installation highlighting such gifts…


Round Trip: Bicycling Asia Minor, 1891

December 14, 2014–April 5, 2015

In the summer of 1890, two young Americans, William Sachtleben and Thomas Allen, Jr., set off to circle the globe on new-fangled “safety” bicycles. Three years later, after pedaling some 18,000 miles on three continents, their harrowing tales of adventure made them international celebrities (“the greatest travelers since Marco Polo,” by one glowing account).


Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates

January 25–March 8, 2015

Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates is the first major touring exhibition of Emirati art and features over fifty paintings, sculptures, photographs, and works in other media. The exhibition employs the works of twenty-five notable Emirati artists to tell the story of the rich history, culture, and rapid development of the United Arab Emirates.


World Share: Installations by Pascale Marthine Tayou

November 2, 2014–March 1, 2015

The Fowler Museum at UCLA presents World Share: Installations by Pascale Marthine Tayou, a large-scale immersive environment that combines his sculpture, drawings, and poetry with Fowler artworks and recorded sound. Assembled from a stunning diversity of materials and found objects, Tayou’s art is characterized by an aesthetic of accumulation…


Textiles of Timor, Island in the Woven Sea

September 7, 2014–January 4, 2015

Women on the island of Timor weave some of the most colorful and varied textiles in Southeast Asia. These cloths are a primary vehicle of cultural expression, and they continue to be made, used, and exchanged in ways that reveal deep social, religious, historical, and political meanings…


Fowler in Focus: Yards of Style, African-Print Cloths of Ghana

August 24–December 14, 2014

The larger markets in West Africa offer everything from foodstuffs to scrap metal to used clothing—and they also boast hundreds and hundreds of stalls filled with printed cloth. With some vendors selling just a few cloths and others featuring enormous stacks of six- and twelve-yard panels, these markets offer something for everyone…


Bearing Witness: Embroidery as History in Post-Apartheid South Africa

September 7–December 7, 2014

Artists from two community art groups—The Mapula Embroidery Project, founded in 1991 in the Winterveldt area outside Pretoria, and Kaross Workers, founded in 1989 on a citrus farm in Limpopo Province—have for several decades used the art of embroidery to express views on diverse issues affecting life in South Africa. See a selection of these fantastically-hued pictorial embroideries—all produced circa 2000, six years after the demise of apartheid—which reveal the deeply political imaginations that have inspired them…


Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa

April 23–September 14, 2014

The news today is replete with reports on territorial disputes, resource extraction, and other forces that impact and endanger the environment. These timely issues lie at the heart of Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa, which uses the work of artists to examine the conceptually complex and visually rich relationship between individuals and communities in Africa and the land upon which they live…


Rigo 23: From the Heart of Santa Madera

May 4–August 31, 2014

As part of Fowler at Fifty, Rigo 23, a San Francisco-based artist and activist from Madeira Island, Portugal, has created a special project in the Museum’s Goldenberg Galleria. Drawing from the Fowler’s Native American collections and Rigo’s own long history of collaborating with native and indigenous communities around the world, the artist uses a variety of media to create an exhibition that considers past and contemporary relations with Native American cultures in California, and more broadly, intercultural relations in an age of globalization…


Fowler in Focus: The Yaqui Masks of Carlos Castaneda

May 4–August 17, 2014

With long beards cascading from their chins and hair sometimes falling over their eyes, the painted and etched wood masks by the Yaqui (Yoeme) of northern Mexico are haunting, humorous, playful, and arresting. Fowler in Focus: The Yaqui Masks of Carlos Castaneda showcases the collection of Yaqui pahko’ola masks and rattles field collected in the 1960s by former UCLA scholar Carlos Castaneda…


Sinful Saints and Saintly Sinners at the Margins of the Americas

March 30–July 20, 2014

Life at the margins in the Americas―borders both physical and societal―inspires sacred figures who walk the fine line between sinfulness and sanctity. In worship and artistic representation alike, such figures both reflect and impact the experiences of those who regularly struggle with complicated economic, political, legal, geographic, gender, and racial realities…

Fowler at Fifty

Fall 2013 through Fall 2014

The Fowler Museum at UCLA honored its 50th anniversary with a suite of special exhibitions and programs from Fall 2013–Fall 2014.


From X To Why: A Museum Takes Shape

October 13, 2013–March 2, 2014

From X to Why: A Museum Takes Shape focuses on the Fowler Museum’s formative history through its earliest acquisitions. The title evokes the Fowler’s practice of assigning each newly acquired object a number, prefaced by an “X.” This  “X” marks the transition of the object from its previous context  to its new life and roles within the museum…


Māori Cloaks, Māori Voices

October 13, 2013–March 2, 2014

When the ancestors of the Māori people sailed to Aotearoa (New Zealand) roughly nine hundred years ago, they became the first Polynesians to settle a land outside the tropics. Previous generations of Polynesians had little need for clothing and made thin beaten barkcloth more for ceremonial purposes than for warmth…


Powerful Bodies: Zulu Arts Of Personal Adornment

October 13, 2013–March 2, 2014

In nineteenth-century southern Africa, highly individualized arts of personal adornment experienced a florescence amongisi-Zulu-speakers, people now called the Zulu. Personal objects worn on or carried around the body were made with considerable aesthetic investment and announced status and identity…


Double Fortune, Double Trouble: Art For Twins Among The Yorùbá

October 13, 2013–March 2, 2014

This exhibition explores the power and prevalence of “two-ness” in Yorùbá art and thought with an impressive display of more than 250 carved wood twin memorial figures, known as ere ibeji. The Yorùbá, who live in southwestern Nigeria as well as Togo and Benin, have one of the highest rates of twinning in the world, and special attention is paid to twins, both in life and after…


From The Sepik River To Los Angeles: Art In Migration

October 13, 2013–March 2, 2014

The Fowler Museum’s collections today include more than 4,500 masks, figural sculptures, shields, architectural elements, ritual objects, and other items from the island of New Guinea in the South Pacific. Three quarters of these were acquired via private donations in the short period from 1963 to 1969, and most came originally from the Sepik River region (now part of the nation of Papua New Guinea)…


Chupícuaro: The Natalie Wood Gift Of Ancient Mexican Ceramics

October 13, 2013–February 2, 2014

Donated to the Museum in 1968/1969 by the actress Natalie Wood, the Fowler’s Chupícuaro ceramics are its most important collection of ancient Mesoamerican art. The selection of nearly seventy works (out of a total of 620) illustrate the breadth of Chupícuaro’s remarkable ceramic tradition…


The Peruvian Four-Selvaged Cloth: Ancient Threads/New Directions

October 13, 2013–February 2, 2014

The tradition of weaving textiles with four finished edges—selvages—characterizes the creative process of the ancient weavers of Peru, known for their mastery of color, technique, and design. Without cutting a thread, each textile was woven to be what it was intended, whether a daily garment, royal mantle, or ritual cloth…


New World Wunderkammer: A Project By Amalia Mesa-Bains

October 13, 2013–February 2, 2014

Chicana artist Amalia Mesa-Bains is working with the Fowler Museum’s collections to create New World Wunderkammer, which will include three “cabinets of curiosity” representing Africa, the indigenous Americas, and the complex cultural and racial mixture (Colonial mestizaje) that typifies the New World. Over two decades, Mesa-Bains has created installations that intervene in and disrupt the conceptual foundations of European museum collecting and display…


Walk Among Worlds, An Installation By Máximo González

October 12–November 10, 2013

Walk among Worlds is a dramatic outdoor installation by Máximo González. Thousands of inflatable beach-ball globes appear to float up the walls of the Fowler’s Davis Courtyard and billow out the top…


Spomenik: Photographs Of The Monuments Of Former Yugoslavia By Jan Kempenaers

March 17–September 22, 2013

Futuristic-looking, yet dilapidated spomeniks―Serbo-Croatian for monuments—dot the hills and valleys of the former Yugoslavia like abandoned spaceships, monuments to a forgotten socialist future. From 2006–09, Antwerp-based artist Jan Kempenaers travelled through the region photographing these striking monuments…


Fowler In Focus―Mandela For President: South Africa Votes For Democracy

April 7–September 8, 2013

In April 1994, after years of protest, oppression, and dissent, the eyes of the world were on South Africa and its first free elections. Would some sixteen million people voting for the first time select the African National Congress as the ruling party and Nelson Mandela as president?


Resplendent Dress From Southeastern Europe: A History In Layers

March 10–July 14, 2013

In the past, girls in rural southeastern Europe spent their childhoods weaving, sewing, and embroidering festive dress so that when they reached puberty they could join the Sunday afternoon village dances garbed in resplendent attire. These extremely colorful and intensely worked garments were often adorned with embroidery, lace, metallic threads, coins, sequins, beads, and, perhaps most importantly, fringe…


Ernest Cole: Photographer

April 7–July 7, 2013

Ernest Cole (1940–90), one of South Africa’s first black photojournalists, passionately pursued his mission to tell the world what it was like to be black under apartheid. With imaginative daring, courage and compassion, he portrayed the lives of black people as they negotiated through apartheid’s racist laws and oppression…


Fowler In Focus: Cambodian Shop Signs: A Gift To The Fowler Museum From Joel G. Montague

December 2, 2012–March 31, 2013

Under the brutal Khmer Rouge rule from 1975–79, Cambodia’s cities were systematically emptied of their population, commercial activity ground to a halt, and even the use of currency was prohibited. This genocidal reign was finally brought to an end by the occupation of Cambodia by Vietnamese military forces, who instituted a state-controlled economic system that continued to severely limit private economic activity…


Light And Shadows: The Story Of Iranian Jews

October 21, 2012–March 10, 2013

Since ancient times, Iran has been a mosaic of ethnicities, religions, cultures, and languages. Light and Shadows: The Story of Iranian Jews tells the rich and complex history of one of the world’s oldest Jewish communities, which dates back nearly 2,700 years since the first Jews exiled from Jerusalem to Babylonia settled in the Persian sphere…


In Extremis: Death And Life In 21st‐Century Haitian Art

September 16, 2012–January 20, 2013

In Extremis: Death and Life in 21st‐Century Haitian Art explores how leading Haitian visual artists have responded to a tumultuous 21st century, an era punctuated by political upheaval, a cataclysmic earthquake, devastating hurricanes, epidemics, and continuing instability. Consisting of approximately seventy mixed-media works by established artists and a rising generation of self-taught genre-busters, the exhibition offers unflinchingly honest and viscerally compelling reactions to Haiti’s contemporary predicament…


Fowler In Focus: Curious Creatures From Mexican Popular Arts

July 1–November 28, 2012

This installation offers an intimate look at how animal figures are imaginatively crafted drawing on selected family and regional traditions in Mexico. Ranging from familiar wildlife and domesticated species engaged in eccentric activities to wondrously whimsical beasts, the approximately forty works included in the exhibition highlight how varying artistic styles bring fantastic fauna to life…


Pearl Of The Snowlands: Tibetan Buddhist Printing From The Derge Parkhang

April 22–October 14, 2012

Founded in 1729 by the fortieth King of Derge, Tenba Tsering (1678–1739), the Derge Parkhang (also called the Derge Sutra Printing House) is one of the foremost cultural, religious and historical institutions in Tibet. Today the Parkhang prints books and images from a collection of more than three hundred thousand woodblocks, including its renowned edition of the Buddhist Kanjur and Tanjur (the teachings of the Buddha and the collected commentaries on his teachings, respectively)…


Second Skins: Painted Barkcloth From New Guinea And Central Africa

April 1–August 26, 2012

Second Skins juxtaposes two separate traditions of fabricating vibrantly graphic clothing from the inner bark of trees: one shared by diverse peoples who live in and around the Ituri rainforest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the other produced by the Ömie of Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific…


Order And Disorder: Alighiero Boetti By Afghan Women

February 26–July 29, 2012

From 1971 to 1994, Italian artist Alighiero Boetti (1940–1994) embarked on a series of projects with Afghan embroiderers, creating monumental pieces that would become some of the artist’s most iconic works…


Fowler In Focus: Japanese Pictorial Ikats From The Krauss Collection

JANUARY 8–JUNE 24, 2012

Sake-swilling imps, Buddhist saints in the form of pop-up dolls, turtles trailing seaweed as longevity symbols—welcome to the engaging imagery of Japanese e-gasuri, or “picture ikat” cloth…


Moving Forward: Life After The Great East Japan Eathquake

March 4–April 15, 2012

On March 11, 2011, a devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of northeastern Japan, triggering a tsunami that sent waves as far as six miles inland. This traveling exhibition commemorates the victims and the struggles of the survivors, and highlights the reconstruction and recovery efforts…


Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement

October 16, 2011- February 26, 2012

Beginning with the establishment of the first Chicano art gallery in 1969 in East Los Angeles, Chicano artists launched a collective reimagining of the urban landscape through photography, graphic arts, murals, and large-scale architectural plans, as well as through painting, sculpture, installation, and drawing…


Icons Of The Invisible: Oscar Castillo

September 25, 2011 – February 26, 2012

Since the late 1960s, Oscar Castillo has documented the Chicano community in Los Angeles, from major political events to cultural practices to the work of muralists and painters…


Transcultural Pilgrim: Three Decades Of Work By José Bedia

September 18, 2011–January 8, 2012

Large-scale figurative paintings and drawings and an installation by José Bedia come together in this major retrospective that explores the artist’s spiritual genealogy as it relates to his Cuban-based religion and its central African source, as well as his explorations of the beliefs of indigenous American peoples…


Launching A Dream: Reviving Tongva Maritime Traditions

June 5–September 18, 2011

Powerful images by photographers Frank Magallanes and Althea Edwards witness the rebirth of ancient maritime traditions of the Southern California coastal and Channel Islands first peoples. Plank-sewn watercraft, the Tongva ti’at and Chumash tomol, once again regularly cut through local ocean waters…


Fowler In Focus: Radiance And Resilience: Arts Of Africa And The Americas From The Goldenberg Collection 

May 29–Septmeber 11, 2011

Radiance and Resilience offers a first chance to view highlights from the major bequest of 180 objects to the Fowler Museum by Barbara and Joseph Goldenberg. The selection was made to emphasize the qualities of radiance and resilience embodied in the arts as well as in the Goldenbergs themselves, long-standing patrons and friends of the Fowler Museum…


Jam Session: America’s Jazz Ambassadors Embrace The World

March 20 – August 14, 2011

This exceptional collection of photographs and documents drawn from important archives around the country chronicles the tours of American jazz legends as they traveled the globe on behalf of the U.S. State Department. From the mid-1950s through the 1970s, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and others served as cultural diplomats…


Central Nigeria Unmasked: Arts Of The Benue River Valley

February 13 – July 24, 2011

The Benue River Valley is the source of some of the most abstract, dramatic, and inventive sculpture in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet compared to the majority populations living in northern and southern Nigeria, the many and diverse groups flanking the 650-mile-long Benue River—and their fascinating arts—are far less known and studied…


Fowler In Focus: Bedia Selects

September 18, 2011 – January 1, 2012

The Fowler Museum has invited painter and installation artist José Bedia to curate an exhibition that draws on the Museum’s permanent collection to accompany Transcultural Pilgrim, his upcoming solo show at the Fowler…


Fowler In Focus: Art And The Unbreakable Spirit Of Haiti

January 9–May 22, 2011

Showcasing selected works collected by the Fowler Museum over many decades, Fowler in Focus: Art and the Unbreakable Spirit of Haiti juxtaposes pieces fashioned for the international art market with those used in Vodou ceremonies and popular seasonal festivities in order to explore how crucial aspects of the Haitian experience are made tangible…


His Masters’ Tools: Recent Work By Allan Desouza

January 23 – May 29, 2011

In a specially created edition of new and recent work, San Francisco-based performance and photo-conceptual artist Allan deSouza uses digital manipulation to play with notions of artistic and technological mastery and to blur the boundaries between photography and painting…


Life In Ceramics: Five Contemporary Korean Artists

August 22, 2010 – February 13, 2011

Life in Ceramics surveys the range of perspectives found among contemporary Korean ceramicists, bringing together for the first time the work of five important artists: Yikyung Kim, In Chin Lee, Kang Hyo Lee, Youngjae Lee, and Kwang-cho Yoon.


Street Art: Photographic Elevations Of Los Angeles, Paris And Berlin By Larry Yust

September 19, 2010 – January 16, 2011

Filmmaker and photographer Larry Yust applies his panoramic perspective to emergent—and often controversial—art forms that enliven metropolitan streetscapes. For this exhibition Yust turned his lens on Los Angeles, Paris, and Berlin, exploring how red-brick warehouse facades, cinderblock walls lining thoroughfares, wooden barriers at construction sites, and fences surrounding vacant lots become prominent sites for open-air, and largely unofficial, artistic expression…


Fowler In Focus: Monochrome Ceramics From Ancient Mexico

Septmeber 12, 2010 – January 2, 2011

These carved and incised ceramics from various pre-Columbian traditions— many contemporaneous with brilliantly painted ceramic styles of the Mesoamerican Classic period—reflect a deliberate rejection of color in favor of an aesthetic that valued the sculpted form. Ranging from the Pre-Classic to the Post-Classic periods, these styles reveal intercultural connections, such as between Teotihuacan, the great Classic urban center in Central Mexico, and the Maya region…


Weavers’ Stories From Island Southeast Asia

August 1, 2010 – December 5, 2010

In Weavers’ Stories from Island Southeast Asia, weavers and batik artists speak for themselves in videos recorded at eight sites in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and East Timor…


Nini Towok’s Spinning Wheel: Cloth And The Cycle Of Life In Kerek, Java

August 1 – December 5, 2010

The community of Kerek is the last place in Java where batik is still produced on handwoven cotton cloth and where a full range of handwoven textiles provides the foundation for a remarkable system of knowledge. Named after Nini Towok, the Javanese goddess who cultivates cotton in the heavens and sends her yarn to Earth in for form of moonbeams, the exhibition explores the multiple meanings of Kerek’s rustic but beautiful textiles…


Korean Funerary Figures: Companions For The Journey To The Other World

August 22, 2010 – November 28, 2010

Koreans have a tradition of creating charming and festively painted wooden dolls. But rather than being placed in a toy box, these joyful figurines of clowns, tigers and acrobats adorn coffins. See seventy-four Korean funeral dolls, known askkoktu— most carved in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—and learn about their rich cultural and spiritual meaning.


Fowler In Focus: Courtly And Urban Batik From Java

May 23, 2010 – September 5, 2010

Drawn from the Fowler Museum’s extensive holdings of Indonesian textiles, the refined batiks made in Java’s royal courts or urban workshops stand in contrast to the rustic rural batiks of Kerek. The pieces range from an impressively large skirt cloth for a Javanese sultan to a slim and elegant silk scarf regarded as suitable for an itinerant entertainer or other women of questionable repute…


Document: Iranian-Americans In Los Angeles

June 6 – September 5, 2010

Four documentary photographers—Farhad Parsa, Arash Saedinia, Parisa Taghizadeh, and Ramin Talaei—focus their lenses on second-generation Iranian Americans of Los Angeles over a four-month period, October 2009–January 2010.


Art, Activism, Access: 40 Years Of Ethnic Studies At UCLA

February 28, 2010 – June 13, 2010

The controversial firing of Professor Angela Davis in 1969, the tent city erected in support of South African divestment in the 1980s, the Chicano Studies hunger strike of 1993—for forty years UCLA has played a key role in our nation’s ongoing struggle with diversity, access, and inclusion.


Nick Cave: Meet Me At The Center Of The Earth

January 10 – May 30, 2010

Experience the largest presentation of work by Chicago-based artist Nick Cave, featuring thirty-five of his Soundsuits—multi-layered, mixed-media sculptures named for the sounds made when the “suits” are worn. Reminiscent of African, Caribbean and other ceremonial ensembles as well as of haute couture, Cave’s work explores issues of transformation, ritual, myth and identity…


Fowler In Focus: X-Voto The Retablo Inspired Art Of David Mecalco

January 31 – May 16, 2010

For more than two decades artist David Mecalco has sold hand-painted devotional images (retablos) from a stall in Mexico City’s La Lagunilla Sunday antiques fair (commonly referred to as the Thieves’ Market). In recent years these vibrant works—pulsing with images of the Virgin Mary, the devil, skeletons, animals, petitioners, and more—have brought him international recognition…

September 6, 2009 – January 24, 2010

These beautiful, ingenious works are mostly examples of basketry not created as containers, but rather serving myriad other functions in African life. See hats, masks, shields, elegant screens, sleeping mats, and other household items…

Steeped in History: The Art of Tea

August 16 – November 29, 2009

Hot or iced, bagged or loose, black or green—whatever form it takes, enjoying a cup of tea is an act performed at least three billion times a day. Tea has played many profound roles on the world scene—as an ancient health remedy, an element of cultural practice, a source of spiritual insight, and even a catalyst for international conflicts—so naturally the ubiquitous beverage has been a prevalent theme in the visual arts…

Fowler in Focus: Masks of Sri Lanka

March 1, 2009 to August 30, 2009

Brightly painted wooden masks transform Sri Lankan dancers into specific characters that appear in curing rituals or popular entertainment.

Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art

In Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art humble yet exquisitely crafted coiled baskets demonstrate one of the enduring contributions of African peoples and cultures to American life.

In the 1970s, photographer Greg Day lived in the African American basket-making communities along the Gullah/Geechee Coast, documenting a way of life on the verge of change….

March 29 – September 13, 2009

For a country as vast and paradoxical as India, it is impossible to generalize about the role of women in society. Worshiped as shakti, oppressed as chattel—these seeming contradictions have left many Western observers stumbling into…

Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya

May 3 – August 2, 2009

In 1971–1972 a group of Australian Aboriginal men began transferring their sacred ceremonial designs to pieces of masonite boards in the tiny settlement of Papunya. This is the first exhibition to focus on this crucial founding moment of Papunya art, which has a unique status in the history of Western Desert painting…

Innovations in Western Desert Painting, 1972-1999: Selections from The Kelton Foundation

May 3, 2009 – August 2, 2009

The spectacular flourishing of Australian Aboriginal painting after the mid 1970s is one of the most important developments of twentieth century art. Innovations in Western Desert Painting, 1972-1999: Selections from The Kelton Foundation explores changes such as the move to canvas, the use of non-traditional colors, transformations in content with regard to sacred imagery, the maturation of personal styles by individual artists, and the recognition of women artists…

Continental Rifts: Contemporary Time-Based Works of Africa

February 22, 2009 to June 14, 2009

View video and digital film works by five contemporary artists with deep connections to Africa— Yto Barrada, Cláudia Cristóvão, Alfredo Jaar, Georgia Papageorge and Berni Searle—shown in Los Angeles for the first time. Each offers a visually seductive exploration of geology, geography, botany, memory, exile, or loss, especially as these areas of inquiry relate to a world that is simultaneously globalizing and fragmenting…

Transformations: Recent Contemporary African Acquisitions

February 22, 2009 – June 14, 2009

Transformations features two spectacular, large-scale metal “tapestries” by celebrated artist El Anatsui, as well as important paintings, prints and sculptures by Viyé Diba, Yelimane Fall, Norman Kaplan, Wosene Kosrof, Azaria Mbatha, Moussa Tine and Durant Sihlali, all recently acquired as part of the Fowler’s ongoing commitment to exploring the vast range of African artistic expression…

December 14, 2008 – March 22, 2009

Commonly known as “Marsh Arabs,” the people of the Iraqi marsh region lived on man-made islands in remarkable buildings crafted from locally grown reeds, creating beautiful vernacular architecture captured in Nik Wheeler’s…

Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda

August 24, 2008 – March 15, 2009

Experience the work of internationally renowned silversmith Antonio Pineda, one of Taxco’s great innovators. Known for his bold designs and ingenious use of gemstones, Pineda’s extraordinary talent and creative vision are evident in his sensual jewelry and outstanding hollowware and tableware…

October 5, 2008 – February 22, 2009

More than four thousand years ago, Colombian men and women began to model their universe in clay, creating miniature impressions of the people and things that held special meaning for them. Before long, these works took on ritual and…

Caras vemos, corazones no sabemos: The Human Landscape of Mexican Migration

October 5, 2008 – January 4, 2009

Consider Mexican migration into the United States—one of the defining factors in the American socio-political landscape—as seen through Chicano/Mexican visual arts. Featuring paintings, works on paper, photographs, video, retablos and more, these works explore the struggles and visions of migrants, as well as their spiritual practices and the roles of these traditions during difficult journeys…

La tinta grita/The Ink Shouts: The Art of Social Resistance in Oaxaca, Mexico

July 20, 2008 – December 7, 2008

In 2006, the Mexican state of Oaxaca experienced seven months of social conflict that resulted in at least eighteen deaths and the occupation of Oaxaca City by the Popular Assembly of the Peoples of Oaxaca (APPO) a confederation that included concerned citizens, teachers, and representatives of indigenous communities…

Fowler in Focus: Ceramics of Papua New Guinea

May 25, 2008 to September 28, 2008

The diverse peoples of Papua New Guinea maintain some of the most unusual and distinctive ceramic traditions found anywhere in the world. New Guinea ceramists gather clay in the hills or swamps surrounding their villages and form it into wares that range from superbly functional cooking and storage pots to highly esoteric sacred figures…

Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas

April 6 – August 10, 2008

Beautiful and seductive, protective yet dangerous, the water spirit Mami Wata (Mother Water) is celebrated throughout much of Africa and the African Atlantic. Often portrayed as a mermaid, a snake charmer, or a combination of both, she and the “school” of related African water spirits all honor the essential, sacred nature of water…

March 16, 2008 to July 13, 2008

See twenty-six colorful and fascinating works of art created by the Patua of West Bengal, India—multimedia artists who paint narrative scrolls and then perform sung poetry while unrolling their scrolls to tell their stories to their audience….

Make Art/Stop AIDS

February 23, 2008 to June 15, 2008

Make Art/Stop AIDS is an internationally traveling exhibition debuting at the Fowler that explores how artists around the world are responding to HIV/AIDS and how their work raises awareness, inspires activism, and can ultimately help end global AIDS…

Fowler in Focus: The Art of Women’s Masquerades in Sierra Leone

December 9, 2007 to April 27, 2008

For many generations, the women’s Sande association of the Mende peoples of Sierra Leone prepared young women for adulthood, marriage, motherhood, and leadership roles in society. Masquerade performances featuring carved wooden masks, music,…

Visual Griots of Mali

December 19, 2007 to March 9, 2008

Forty-nine black-and-white photographs taken by young people in Mali capture their lives on film while evoking the honor they feel for the traditions of their villages. The Malian sixth graders’ photographs are the result of the Academy for…

Inscribing Meaning: Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art

October 14, 2007 to February 17, 2008

Inscribing Meaning brings together outstanding works of art from a range of periods, regions, genres, and peoples in order to consider the interplay between African art and the communicative power of graphic systems, language, and the written word…

Material Choices: Bast and Leaf Fiber Textiles

August 26, 2007 to December 30, 2007

In a world awash in a global trade of industrially produced cottons and synthetic fabrics, it is easy to forget that all of the cloth needed in any community once had to be woven by hand and that much of it was made from bast or leaf fibers. Today even the word bast, which refers to a layer of fibers found in the stems of plants, is unfamiliar to many people…

Sefrou, Morocco Observed: The Photographs of Paul Hyman

November 28, 2007 to December 16, 2007

In 1969, fashion photographer Paul Hyman visited his boyhood friend, anthropologist Paul Rabinow, who was conducting fieldwork in Morocco with the eminent anthropologists Clifford and Hildred Geertz. See more than forty of Hyman’s images of…

Fowler in Focus: Doors in Global Perspective

June 24, 2007 to December 2, 2007

Doors separate and define space, facilitating passage between interior and exterior, private and public, sacred and profane. The astonishing range of doors in the Fowler Museum collections demonstrates that doors are not just doors…

Architecture of the Veil: An Installation by Samta Benyahia

January 28, 2007 to September 2, 2007

This site-specific installation and first U.S. museum exhibition by Algerian artist Samta Benyahia takes its theme from the moucharabieh, the openwork screens used in Mediterranean Islamic architecture to cover windows and balconies, allowing those inside—typically women—to view the outside world without being seen…

El Anatsui: Gawu

April 22, 2007 to August 26, 2007

Originally from Ghana but living in Nigeria since 1975, El Anatsui is one of Africa’s most influential artists, recently named by Britain’s The Independent as one of the fifty greatest cultural figures shaping the continent. His work dwells on the continent’s history, drawing simultaneously on traditional African idioms and contemporary western art…

Butabu: Adobe Architecture of West Africa, Photographs by James Morris

April 22, 2007 to July 15, 2007

For centuries, complex earthen structures, many of them quite massive, have been built in the Sahel region of western Africa—Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Ghana, and Burkina Faso. Made of earth mixed with water, these buildings display a…


January 14, 2007 to June 17, 2007

In the Fowler in Focus gallery inside Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, see twenty-four of these fascinating masks drawn from the Fowler Museum’s collections, and explore the drama and complexity of the remarkable masquerade…

December 1, 2006 to March 11, 2007

Dress Up Against AIDS features fourteen magnificent garments designed and produced by Brazilian artist Adriana Bertini, made entirely of condoms rejected by industry quality tests. By appropriating an object of protection and using it to…

The Keiskamma Altarpiece: Transcending AIDS in South Africa

January 10 to March 11, 2007

This monumental, multi-panel artwork was created by 130 women from South Africa’s Eastern Cape province — an area of the world hard hit by AIDS — to commemorate the lives and memory of individuals there who have died of the disease and to celebrate the community’s determination to prevail in the face of AIDS…

October 29, 2006 to February 25, 2007

The “art” of being Tuareg, a semi-nomadic people of Niger, Mali, and Algeria, has fascinated travelers and scholars alike throughout history. The elegance and beauty of the Tuareg peoples—their dress and exquisite ornament,…

September 17, 2006 to January 21, 2007

Liminal Spaces, forty-eight black-and-white images by Rose-Lynn Fisher explore the theme of liminality in social and physical spaces, the experience of desert and urban dwelling, and the Jewish and Muslim cultures in Morocco.

June 11, 2006 to September 10, 2006

“A multimedia panorama of contemporary art practice at its best.”
Coagula Art Journal #81, August 2006

“You owe it to yourself to put The Missing Peace at the top of your summer itinerary –…

June 11, 2006 to September 10, 2006

In Mani Wall and A Sacred Geography, Mary Heebner’s elegant, limited-edition book A Sacred Geography will be displayed in its entirety, along with a new series of her paintings, entitled Mani Wall, and magnificent photographs of Nepal…

April 22, 2006 to June 4, 2006

Noted urban photographer and former prosecutor and Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti captures the essence of dance in Cuba in this selection of forty-nine images, most from his new book Dance in Cuba. Garcetti’s rich black-and-white…

November 6, 2005 to April 23, 2006

Explore the revelry of Carnival festivals as they are enacted today in eight different geographic and cultural regions. This lavish exhibition presents approximately fifty elaborate costumes and numerous masks reflecting a range of masquerade and…

February 5, 2006 to April 16, 2006

Jerome has photographed Carnival annually around the world for 25 years. In this final photographic exhibition in conjunction with iCarnaval!, enjoy images of contrasting celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Black Forest of…

November 6, 2005 to January 29, 2006

“David and Shirley Rowen’s pictures of Carnevale in Venice, Italy are some of the most regal, romantic and haunting ever to tap this endless vein of imagery.”
flavorpill, January 2006

In conjunction with…

September 10, 2005 to October 30, 2005

As a prelude to ¡Carnaval!, see images from this remarkable West African Carnaval in 1987, which featured more than 500 newly made papier mâché masks promoting the dual themes of “Vaccination for Health”…

March 6, 2005 to September 18, 2005

“Literally glowing testimony to the irrepressible spirituality at the heart of intuitive artmaking.”
LA Weekly, July 28, 2005

“The Holy Trinity depicted in the form of fused Siamese twins holding the…

June 19, 2005 to September 4, 2005

“Forthright in its sadness and anger, but couched in a redemptive capacity for beauty and compassion.”
LA Weekly, July 28, 2005


For hundreds of years, artists, poets and explorers have been…

April 17, 2005 to August 21, 2005

“The exhibition that, instead of lecturing, keeps you awake and amused about thousands of ways that various cultures and eras intertwine.”
Edward Goldman, KCRW’s Art Talk, May 17, 2005


March 6, 2005 to June 12, 2005

In conjunction with Painting Ethiopia, approximately thirty-five striking photographs taken by historian Neal Sobania and art historians Raymond Silverman and Peri Klemm illustrate the richness of Ethiopia’s ethnic and cultural diversity…

Botánica Los Angeles: Latino Popular Religious Art in the City of Angels

September 12, 2004 to March 6, 2005

Best described as an ever-evolving combination of spiritual center, religious supply house, and alternative healthcare facility, the botánica is fast becoming a key feature of the sacred, social, and visual landscape of Los Angeles…

December 19, 2004 to February 27, 2005

Since 2002, noted filmmaker and photographer Larry Yust has created what he calls “photographic elevations.” This exhibition presents forty-seven of these colorful, sweeping views of LA’s urban landscape, from distinctive…

October 10, 2004 to January 30, 2005

“In a time when we need to be more than we really are, Duval-Carrié’s bizarre images reference a tragic but familiar history of man combatting prejudice, greed, and unchecked power.”
Juxtapose Magazine, March/…

September 12, 2004 to January 30, 2005

To complement Botánica Los Angeles, New York-based contemporary artist Franco Mondini-Ruiz has created the site-specific installation Infinito Botá…

August 8, 2004 to December 12, 2004

Religion and politics mingle freely in Haitian ritual flags, a fabulous array of which hang at the Fowler Museum.”
Los Angeles Times, August 2004

“A glorious celebration of these richly textured drapos.”…

July 7, 2004 to September 12, 2004

Works by contemporary indigenous artists from North America and Australia reflected on various forms of appropriation, from dispossession of land to artistic misappropriation. The exhibitionwhich included eight works by artists from…

June 6, 2004 to August 1, 2004

Filipino Americans are one of this nation’s largest and fastest-growing Asian American ethnic groups, yet their history in this country is not well known. Through My Father’s Eyes is a rare collection of fifty-one black-and-white…

June 6, 2004 to July 18, 2004

Museum architecture and conventions of display, installation, and signage are ostensibly devoted to welcoming the viewer and elevating the presence and power of works of art. Increasingly, however, these other aspects are competing with the…

Traces of India: Photography, Architecture, and the Politics of Representation, 1850-1900

March 7, 2004 to July 3, 2004

Traces of India explored how 19th-century European photographers captured the great architectural sites of India.

February 8, 2004 to May 30, 2004

“The show is powerful on a number of levels — Oonark was a brilliant graphic artist by any standards, and she deserves to be considered alongside the Western masters her work most strongly resembles …”
LA Weekly,…

March 7, 2004 to May 30, 2004

Don Farber’s acclaimed photographs provide a spectacular view of the beauty and diversity of Buddhist communities around the world.

October 5, 2003 to April 25, 2004

“As far-reaching and ambitious as it is focused and accessible. Its amazing variety of materials from different…

This extraordinary record of daily life and family relationships among peoples of Orissa, India, was taken by photographer Tara Colburn, during a search for her son who had joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. In…

May 4, 2003 to January 4, 2004

This bilingual exhibition examined richly symbolic Trees of Life, the ceramic candelabra-like constructions whose elaborate decoration and structure often appear to defy gravity and the pottery medium itself. The exhibition presented the historic roots…

October 5, 2003 to January 4, 2004

“A seamless work of lingering beauty and unfolding perceptions that embodied the simplicity of Zen principles.”
Sculpture Magazine, September 2004

This experimental exhibition was a unique…

A Saint in the City: Sufi Arts of Urban Senegal

February 27, 2003 to July 27, 2003

“One of the best shows of any kind I’ve seen anywhere this season.”
The New York Times, July 2003

This exhibition (originally titled Passport to Paradise) explores the arts and culture of Islamic West Africa through a dynamic and influential religious movement in Senegal known as the Mouride Way, based on the teaching on the Sufi Saint Sheikh Amadu Bamba.

May 22, 2003 to July 27, 2003

Video and film by Mona Hatoum, Shirin Neshat, and Michal Rovner, women artists from the Middle East who now live and work elsewhere, explore negotiations of cultural, political, and gender differences over distance and time. The videos…

March 23, 2003 to June 29, 2003

Wild Silk, Island Fibers showcased textiles from Madagascar now in Chicago’s Field Museum, collected from 1926-27 by Ralph Linton. These lamba shoulder cloths are in some cases also used as funeral shrouds that feature in…

August 4, 2002 to March 23, 2003

“Exemplary in its sensitivity to meaning’s promiscuity and the gray areas between authenticity and fraudulence. Its poignancy resides in how effectively it catches viewers in the cross-fire between a venerable tradition and voracious…

October 13, 2002 to February 9, 2003

Joyously chaotic Japanese Shinto-Buddhist festivals known as matsuri are times of recounting history, procuring the blessings of the deities for a prosperous year, and building camaraderie with friends and neighbors. Featuring more than 250…

May 19, 2002 to November 17, 2002

“Terrific objects, illuminating installation, refreshing viewpoint, excellent catalog—this UCLA Fowler Museum offering was the best show of the year.”
Los Angeles Times, December 2002


April 21, 2002 to July 28, 2002

Fishermen living on the island of Awaji in Japan’s Inland Sea wore beautiful coats (donza) made from quilted layers of indigo-dye cotton cloth. The most elaborate were quilted with white cotton thread in intricately stitched patterns (…

April 21, 2002 to July 28, 2002

Since the 1980s, Japan has been at the forefront of a revolution in textiles. The Japanese legacy of exquisite traditional fabrics combined with recent technological advancements has opened a world of possibility in textile design. The NUNO Studio and…

May 19, 2002 to July 14, 2002

This exhibition explored the shift in meaning that the term “fetish” underwent from its beginnings as a derogatory description of African art to its Freudian and Marxist applications in contemporary art. Stunning examples of African art from…

February 17, 2002 to April 28, 2002

Featuring colorful baskets and banners from women’s workshops in the Kwa-Zulu-Natal Province that were created to address the crippling effects of South Africa’s AIDS crisis, this exhibition investigated the many ways in which traditional…

December 2, 2001 to April 21, 2002

Celebrating women worldwide for their creative expression, this powerful exhibition explored the nearly ten-year history and social impact of this unique international women’s art project. Transforming simple, identical boxes into vessels of…

October 28, 2001 to March 10, 2002

These objects, from the Jay T Last Collection at the Fowler Museum, comprise a spectacular survey of one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Lega art and represents one of the most significant central African artistic traditions….

October 24, 2001 to January 20, 2002

In the Irish counties of Donegal and Tyrone, a generation of legendary fiddlers kept the northern fiddling tradition alive under conditions of great social change. Northern fiddling is characterized by its driving rhythms and, like Appalachian…

June 16, 2001 to December 29, 2001

Stories of Chicano civil rights and political action are told in the vivid art of posters, which were originally displayed on walls, telephone poles, and other surfaces within the urban landscape. These powerful graphic works, created by artists to…

2001 to October 21, 2001

The Moche civilization flourished on the north coast of Peru between 100 and 800 C.E., leaving behind a vivid artistic record of their beliefs and activities in beautifully painted ceramics. Complex scenes…

July 5, 2001 to October 21, 2001

Carol Petersen’s photographs serve as a tour through the oeuvre of Mexican artist, musician and activist Mario Sebástian Ávila Vargas, who has spent the last 10 years turning his home and its grounds into a growing work of art that…

Asylum in the Library: The Method, Madness and Magic of Aby M. Warburg


Aby M. Warburg, influential and idiosyncratic German-Jewish scholar of the early 20th century, saw his library as a site of ritual and creativity. Instead of using it merely as a receptacle for his impressive collection of books and photographs covering…


From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, hand-painted posters on canvas were the principal means of advertising for Ghana’s independent mobile cinema industry. They stand out from other West African artistic traditions by their highly individualistic style…


As it is in Ghana and many other parts of the world, movie going in Los Angeles is a major social event in which almost everyone participates. The way that studios and distributors vie for public attention is a visual phenomenon that is especially…


Thirty-eight Kiowa and Comanche historic lattice cradles, and two contemporary cradles — by a Kiowa artist and a Comanche artist — were featured. Brilliant in color and technical design, the cradles are among the most beautiful of Plains Indian…


In some parts of Ecuador, strips of bark are used as straps for carrying infants; in Borneo skillfully beaded or carved wooden baby seats worn on a parent’s back tell of the family’s social status as well as the baby’s gender. From North…


Featuring magnificent sculptures by artist Alison Saar and exemplary Luba works of art from central Africa, this major exhibition explored the dynamic relationships between the female form in Luba art and in the contemporary sculpture of the renowned, Los…


Twenty-six outstanding works of African art conveyed the remarkable diversity of female representation across the continent. Companion to Body Politics, Imaging Women in African Art featured sculptures, masks, and a colorful dance ensemble from west,…


Comprised of portraits of individuals holding the treasured images of family members accompanied by personal narratives, this exhibition captures a present nurtured by the past. Documenting 30 persons from diverse backgrounds, photographer Darryl Sivad…


The Negev Desert comprises over half of the land area of Israel. Its residents, who number over 400,000, represent one of the most unusual mixes in the world. Jewish immigrants from North Africa, Ethiopia, the Middle East, India, Europe, North and South America, and the…


Poignant, knowing, rich with insights and tributes, 130 photographs chronicle Muhammad Ali’s legendary trip of 1974 to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to fight a heavily favored George Foreman in the first world heavyweight boxing…