For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Symbolic Use of Animals in African Cultural Art Exhibition at the Free Library of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, January 8, 2007 - Herman Bigham & Associates, a collective of African Art presenters, preservers, and scholars, will exhibit “Symbolic Use of Animals in African Cultural Art” in the West Gallery of the Central Library from January 8, 2007 to March 24, 2007. The opening event on Friday, January 12, 2007, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., will feature a gallery talk and lecture by Dr. Rosalind Jefferies.

The exhibition begins its examination of the theme with the most famous African civilization, ancient Egypt. It begins by establishing the cultural unity of Ancient Egypt, West, and Central Africa through examples of shared sculptural forms and belief systems that emphasize a harmonious relationship between humans and animals. The exhibition also examines how animal attributes are symbolically used to communicate standards of social values and behavior.

“Symbolic Use of Animals in African Cultural Art” features rare and authentic African sculpture from Baltimore’s Morgan State University collection, the renowned private collection of Merton Simpson of New York City, and the holdings of Herman Bigham & Associates. This presentation contains some of the most extraordinary African Art to be exhibited in the Philadelphia area since the “Treasurers ofAncient Nigeria” exhibition.

For more information, contact Herman Bigham at 215-387-2742 or

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than six million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely-used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850