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Four Black Women Featured at the Musée du quai Branly

Thursday, February 29th, 2024

Four Black Women Featured at the Musée du quai Branly

Cover image: Banner for Beyond Anthropology 
Source: Musée du quai Branly Website

Did you know that Zora Neale Hurston, Esmelda Goode Robeson, and Katherine Dunham were anthropologists?

These women are being featured in an exhibition called Beyond Anthropology at the Musée du quai Branly.

Cover of Beyond Anthropology Visitor's Guide

Curator Sarah Frioux-Salgas, head of collections documentation and archives at the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac Media Library, has put together this exhibition to examine how Hurston, Robeson, and Dunham pursued anthropology academically and turned that study into fuel for their artistic and political activities. It has been mounted in the Atelier Martine Aublet, the same space where the excellent exhibition about Paul Robeson was displayed in 2018.

Frioux-Salgas presents field archives of photography and film resulting from the three women's anthropology work and looks at how they interpreted and used these outside the field of anthropology to combat racism and colonialism as well as promote and defend the rights of women.

The Atelier Martine Aublet is a small space - it measures only 170 square meters (~1830 square feet) - so visitors should expect a compact presentation of the archival materials.

But given the subject matter, I anticipate that visitors will find Beyond Anthropology to be extremely powerful.

The work of a fourth Black woman is simultaneously being featured at the museum.

Cover of ilimb, the Essence of Tears Visitor's Guide

Franco-Gabonese artist Myriam Mihindou has been invited to present an original installation celebrating Punu culture through the museum’s collections of musical instruments and sound archives. She has created an exhibition that allows visitors to see, hear and feel her relationship with her native culture, as she pays tribute to Punu mourners who guide the deceased to the afterlife and the living through their mourning.

According to the artist, the exhibition is "a narrative about tears."

ilimb, the Essence of Tears is being shown in the Marc Ladriet de Lacharrière Gallery.

Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac
37, quai Branly
75007 Paris
Entry fee: 14€ (full price); 11€ (reduced rate)
Opening hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday through Sunday: 10:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday: 10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday: closed