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Karen Milbourne,Ph.D., Curator, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

King Lewanika of Barotseland (western Zambia) was both a savvy politician and visionary artist. He united the populations living along the Zambezi river floodplain under a shared Lozi identity, negotiatedwith European powers for recognition of his land as a territory and not a colony, established a workshop and trained a new generation of artists at his court, and by 1905 had opened a “Native Curios Store” atVictoria Falls from which he sold Lozi arts to prominent visitors. Lewanika both governed Barotselandand created the look, workshop, and marketing outlet by which this nation would be known internationally. This lecture explores the virtually unknown role and ongoing influence of Lewanika in theformation of Lozi style – epitomized by such objects as the lidded bowl on display at the MFA – andmarketing strategies.

 

Image: Vessel, Lozi peoples, Zambia, early 20th century. Wood, L. 18 in. (45.7 cm). Collection of Timothy Phillips.

 


About the Instructor


Speaker: Karen Milbourne
Speaker Bio: Ph.D., Curator, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC