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Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club

Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club

[Toledo, OH] “Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club” explores the connection between African American artist Jacob Lawrence and his contemporaries based in West Africa through the Nigerian publication Black Orpheus.

The Toledo Museum of Art exhibition features over 125 objects, including Lawrence’s little-known 1964–65 Nigeria series. Also included are works by the artists featured in Black Orpheus, archival images, videos, and letters.

The Mbari Artists & Writers Club was an artistic organization of Nigerian-based artists, writers, and dramatists. They promoted modern African and international artistic practices.

The core of the exhibition centers on the Mbari arts and culture magazine Black Orpheus (1957–67). The publication was one of the main vehicles for circulating fictional and non-fictional writings by African and African Diaspora writers. It also included reviews of international visual artists from throughout the African continent, India, Brazil, Japan, Austria, U.S., and Germany.

In addition to its daytime hours, the Toledo Museum of Art is open until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

This is ideal for those who are unable (or unwilling) to visit museums by day.

#EveryMuseum in America could be open late at least once a month.

With works that are as powerful and important as those by Picasso, “Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club” is showing at the Toledo Museum of Art, Jun. 3 – Sep. 3, 2023.


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