Lecture at The Phillips Collection: Dr. Kate Cowcher, "A Postcard from Addis: Ethiopian Modernism in the World"

The Phillips Collection
Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 18:30 to 19:30
Postcard from Emira Bier to Marjorie Phillips, 1967. Source: The Phillips Collection Archives

In 1967 Elmira Bier, executive assistant to Duncan Phillips, sent a postcard to Marjorie Phillips from Addis Ababa. On it she wrote about Ethiopian food, the importance of women in Ethiopian society and the commitment of Emperor Haile Selassie to education. The photograph on the postcard was not one of the familiar touristic images of Ethiopia, of rural life, coffee ceremonies or the historic art of the Orthodox Church. Rather, the postcard depicted a work of contemporary, civic art:  the large stained glass window for the UN Economic Commission for Africa, made in 1958 by Afewerk Tekle, one of Ethiopia’s most important modern artists.
Taking Elmira’s postcard as a starting point, this lecture by Kate Cowcher will explore the development of modern art in Ethiopia as an internationally engaged, politically expedient entity. An examination of the arts of an era known as the “Addis Spring” will reveal the bustling, creative capital city that Elmira must have encountered during her visit in the late 1960s.​

For more information please visit http://www.phillipscollection.org/events/2018-05-17-fellows-perspective-...

The Phillips Collection, Lecture Hall
1600 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20009