The Association of Art Museum Curators has honored three of the curators of the Fowler Museum at UCLA’s exhibition “Striking Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths.”
Marla Berns, Tom Joyce and Allen Roberts accepted the award of excellence on behalf of the curatorial team.
Berns is the Shirley and Ralph Shapiro Director of the Fowler Museum and an adjunct assistant professor of art history at UCLA. Berns served as co-curator of the exhibition, which includes more than 225 artworks from across the African continent dating from the 17th century to recent times and focusing on the region south of the Sahara.
“Striking Iron,” which is currently at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, features wood sculptures studded with iron, currencies, musical instruments, body adornments, tools and weapons and other objects that enabled Africans to forage, hunt, farm and provide protection and prosperity.
Joyce is the lead guest curator of the exhibition and is an artist originally trained as a blacksmith, his work includes sculptures, drawings, photographs, videos and mixed media installations.
Roberts is a professor of world arts and cultures at UCLA who also served as co-curator of the exhibition. His teaching involves theories of culture, visual cultures, comparative religion and Africa and its diasporas.