Museums and similar collections worldwide face a shared and difficult challenge: the return and repatriation of objects to their communities and owners of origin. We are privileged this fall to enjoy a virtual tour of an exhibit at University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) dedicated to this challenge. During the course of the public exhibition Wish You Were Here (August 21 through December 31, 2021), curators and researchers will investigate 11 African artworks of dubious origin in UMMA’s collections, and grapple with issues of ethical ownership, provenance, and practical restitution. During our virtual visit, we will join those investigators on their journey as they share their progress through a living and growing Research Timeline. A primary objective of this project is to begin to address the injustices of colonialism while strengthening existing relationships and creating new ones with partners in Africa and its diaspora.
This special event will also be streamed on Facebook Live, which can be viewed from the library’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Tecumseh-District-Library-192148050127/.