Principles of African Greatness


This book is not yet published, but will be available from September 2022.

ISBN: 9783777438825 Category:

Kevin D. Dumouchelle


Heroes: Principles of African Greatness is a multi-layered project that relays the stories of the key heroic principles and people in Africa’s arts and history, and considers the core values of leadership – justice, integrity, generosity and empathy. Each artwork in Heroes is paired with a historic African person, a “hero in history,” who embodies the thematic value featured in the selected work.

Showing nearly 50 artworks from more than 40 artists, the book is designed in an aesthetic reminiscent of a graphic novel or superhero comic book. With multiple paths and points of entry, it encourages readers to explore, consider and make their own connections. In addition, author Kevin Dumouchelle has included reference information, and offers his reflections on related songs from a curated playlist. An essay weaves together a brief discussion of the project’s goals and grounding. Find your own way in this spirited cosmos full of surprises and values!

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 22.9 x 33 cm
Publisher name Hirmer Verlag GmbH
Publication date 28 September 2022
Number of pages 288
Format Hardback
Dimensions 22.9 x 33 cm
Weight 300 g


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Kevin D. Dumouchelle joined the National Museum of African Art in October 2016. He was the project lead for Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts (2017), the museum's award-winning presentation of its permanent collection, along with chief curator Christine Mullen Kreamer and curator Karen E. Milbourne. He was the coordinating curator for Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange in Medieval Saharan Africa (2020), World on the Horizon: Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean (2018), and Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women (2018). Previously, Dumouchelle was at the Brooklyn Museum for a decade as the curator in charge of the arts of Africa and the Pacific Islands. There, he conceived two award-winning reinstallations of the African collection: African Innovations (2014) and Double Take: African Innovations (2014). He has written books and articles and curated a range of exhibitions on contemporary and historical African art, including Power Incarnate: Allan Stone's Collection of Sculpture from the Congo (2011) at the Bruce Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum presentations of Gravity and Grace Monumental Works by El Anatsui (2013) and Disguise: Masks and Global African Art (2016). Dumouchelle has a doctorate, Master of Philosophy, and master of arts in art history and archaeology from Columbia University.