Powerful Arts of Cameroon

January 30, 2014 - March 10, 2014

The Amadou Njoya Collection

The artwork in this exhibition is produced by artists that reside in the diverse Cameroonian societies.

About the Exhibit

Powerful Arts of Cameroon: The Collection of Amadou Njoya features works from the culturally rich and topographically diverse area located in central West Africa. With a population of over 20 million people and with approximately 250 linguistic groups, Cameroon mirrors the diversity of our very own Queens community.

Amadou Njoya was born into a family of distinguished iron and brass artisans who worked for the royal family of the Bamum kingdom. Amadou Njoya – a fourth generation Cameroonian – his family had bestowed upon them the title of "Nji," – a significant and honorable person within the kingdom.

In 1990, Amadou began collecting art and has assembled a comprehensive assortment of both traditional and contemporary objects that represent his appreciation of ceremonial ritual and respect for the spirit's that inhabit the work. As a whole, his collection emulates the power, beauty and spirituality that is inherent in the masterful objects that are made of wood, metal and terra cotta and cover the various cultures throughout all areas of Cameroon. A large portion of the objects in the exhibition originate from the Grassfields kingdoms of Cameroon, and were worn and used in performances by notable figures within the society during ceremonies and rituals and evoke the power of their spirits.