Penn Museum logo

Stolen Legacy

Music and Libretto by Hannibal Lokumbe

Saturday, January 14, 2023 |
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM ET

Hannibal Lokumbe

Location

Penn Museum

Event Type

Performances

In partnership with internationally-renowned artist, composer, and educator Hannibal Lokumbe, the Penn Museum presents Stolen Legacy, a libretto and musical commentary on the removal of art from the African continent.

This provocative piece responds to how, in Lokumbe’s own words, “the exchange of money for art created expressly for the spiritual maintenance of a tribe and/or nation can create a lasting physiological wound to the culture from which it was removed.” He adds that “nowhere is this more evident than in the case of African art.”

This program is part of the Museum’s own reflective process about our institutional history, which is tied to colonialist and racist narratives, and our work to reconcile our past with restorative practices. Be a part of this ongoing conversation about the history of museums, and about ethical stewardship of the legacy of the past.

As part of a multi-tiered experience that includes classroom visits and a conversation with the artist open to Penn students and the public, everyone is invited to hear a performance of Stolen Legacy on January 14, 2023, in the Sphinx Gallery.

Sung in Yoruba, one of the major native languages of Nigeria, the libretto of Stolen Legacy is based on the idea that individual artifacts long to return to the cultures that birthed them.

Don’t miss experiencing this powerful, provocative musical commentary and artistic work live at the Penn Museum, before it is permanently installed as an audio piece in the Africa Galleries.

Free to Registered Guests

Advance reservations highly recommended.

Register

Composer Statement

“To my thinking, nothing brings a greater state of elation to an artist than sharing his (her)creation with others. This is the understanding that all we truly own in our lives is what we share with others. Given the truth of this analogy, what then could be more inhumane than the taking of the work of an artist “By hook or by crook? “For not only is the image taken, so is the culture which produced the art. Often when money is exchanged for the art, the art is stolen to an even greater degree than if it were stolen outright. The exchange of money for art created expressly for the spiritual maintenance of a tribe and/or nation can create a lasting physiological wound to the culture from which it was removed. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of African art. Art speaks to the legacy of a people. And those who have no regard for that legacy are no less thieves of the highest order.”

About Hannibal Lokumbe

Classic composer and jazz trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe (né Marvin Peterson) has been celebrating and commemorating the African-American experience through music and words for over four decades. Lokumbe’s work has been commissioned and performed by symphonies and orchestras across the country, including the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His oratorio “African Portraits” has been performed over two hundred times by orchestras across America since its Carnegie Hall debut in 1990, and was recorded with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Daniel Barenboim. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, including from the NEA, and is a Lifetime Inductee to the Harlem Jazz Hall of Fame.