Dancer, choreographer, educator, and anthropologist Pearl Primus is featured in a new Ground Floor exhibit at MNL. “’The Returned Spirit’: Pearl Primus in Africa” features photographs of this amazing mid-20th century dance dynamo during her second trip to the West African nation of Liberia. Her visits to Africa were transformative for her professionally and personally, and the images really capture both her energetic dance style as well as her anthropological curiosity. The pictures in the exhibit are from a 1952 scrapbook in the Leon Jordan Collection; both Jordan and Primus were in Liberia at the same time for the second inauguration of the country’s president. To get a sense of Primus’ phenomenal athletic stage presence, check out this video.
This exhibit is timed to coincide with some upcoming Library programs:
- The 2012 African American Read-In, Feb. 21 (MNL) and Feb 29 (Diastole)
- Stitches: An Exhibit of Textiles by Nedra Bonds, featuring the Women’s Equity Quilt, slated to open on Feb 2 in the Dean’s Gallery, sponsored by the Women’s Center. The opening reception will feature a play with dance accompaniment.
Many thanks to Scott Gipson, LSC Library Information Specialist II, for photo reproduction services and to Conservatory Student Assistant Anthony Rodgers for spontaneous installation assistance.
Enjoy the new exhibit!
Stuart Hinds, Director of Special Collections, UMKC Libraries