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Member Preview: The Language of Beauty in African Art

November 18–19, 2022 | 10:00–5:00

Member Exclusive


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  • Free for members

Enjoy two full days of member-only access to The Language of Beauty in African Art and see the exhibition before it opens to the public.

Bringing together over 250 masks, figures, and other objects, this exhibition explores indigenous aesthetic concepts of beauty and ugliness as they are applied to the tradition-based arts of different African cultures. In doing so, it contextualizes local expressions and appreciations of what the makers and audiences of the varied works on view consider aesthetically pleasing or disagreeable, and invites us to reevaluate the arts of the African continent from the perspectives of the communities and individuals who created and used it.

Simply show your member card or digital member card to enter.

See more member programs.

In accordance with state and City of Chicago guidelines, visitors to the museum are no longer required to wear masks or provide proof of vaccination. Anyone who would like to continue to wear a mask is welcome to do so. Learn more about our visiting policies and what to expect.

We care deeply about the well-being and safety of our guests and staff. If you feel unwell, are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, or have reason to believe you’ve been exposed to Covid in the last week, we ask that you please stay home.  An inherent risk of exposure to Covid-19 exists in any public place where people are present. For your own and others’ safety, we ask you to follow the advice of the CDC. If you feel at risk, please wear a mask. Even with everyone taking precautions, those visiting the museum or attending a museum event (on or off-campus) do so at their own risk to Covid exposure. Please take good care.

If you have any questions about programming, please reach out to


Major funding for The Language of Beauty in African Art is provided by Lilly Endowment Inc., Myrna Kaplan, Gary Metzner and Scott Johnson, Javier Peres and Benoît Wolfrom, and an anonymous donor.

Additional support is contributed by Lori and Steve Kaufman and the Loraine Kaufman Foundation and the Morton International Exhibition Fund.

This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Members of the Luminary Trust provide annual leadership support for the museum’s operations, including exhibition development, conservation and collection care, and educational programming. The Luminary Trust includes an anonymous donor, Karen Gray-Krehbiel and John Krehbiel, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, the Harris Family Foundation in memory of Bette and Neison Harris, Josef and Margot Lakonishok, Robert M. and Diane v.S. Levy, Ann and Samuel M. Mencoff, Sylvia Neil and Dan Fischel, Cari and Michael J. Sacks, and the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation.

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