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Press Coverage

The Block Museum is frequently featured in national, regional and local media. See our most recent stories below, or view an archive of past coverage.

Art in America
'Caravans of Gold' tells stories of exchange and of beauty, bringing African artisans, travelers, and tradespeople into the role usually occupied in our culture by heroic knights of medieval fiction. It replaces a vision of the Sahara as an empty space with the truth of the Sahara as a venue for movement and the generation of wealth. It replaces the blank spots in our historical vision with the simple fact of African people’s existence in and relevance to the medieval world. If this is the only lesson visitors take away with them from the Block out into the contemporary world and every museum they visit afterward, it will have been enough.”
Josephine Livingstone, April 1 2019
The New York Times
Caravans of Gold is the first major exhibition addressing the scope of Saharan trade and the shared history of West Africa, the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe from the eighth to 16th centuries. Displaying more than 250 artworks, the exhibition features loans from partner institutions in Mali, Morocco, and Nigeria, many of which are being seen in North America for the first time.”
Kerry Hannon, March 12, 2019
Even more, [Caravans of Gold] subtly raises up the entire African continent, which becomes through this retelling, a force of profound socioeconomic change at the global level. As their handout highlights: 'Journey to a medieval world with Africa at its center.'”
Seph Rodney, March 15, 2019
Chicago Magazine
It’s rare for American art museums to work with African lenders, because the institutional structures are so different from our own. Caravans of Gold stretches across regions and fields of study, and the loans required multiple visits to Mali, Morocco, and Nigeria.”
Jason Foumberg, January 22, 2019
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts will award a total of $413,500 in curatorial research fellowships as part of its fall 2018 cycle, the highest amount since the program began in 2008.”
January 23, 2019
Chicago Tribune
It packs the museum’s 4,000 square feet with a spectacular array of ancient artifacts — and, as the title suggests, pieces of ancient artifacts — borrowed from African museums, the British Museum and the Smithsonian Institution, among some two dozen lenders.”
The richest man ever was not named Gates or Bezos; he was king of Mali in the Middle Ages
Steve Johnson, January 23, 2019