Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Mary Jo Arnoldi

Curator of African Ethnology
Department / Division
Education
  • M.A., Michigan State University
  • B.F.A., Bowling Green State University
  • Ph.D., Indiana University
Research Interests

African ethnography with emphasis on visual, material, and performing arts; post-colonial public culture, museum history and museology; African Diaspora in the New World

Publications
Article
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2001. "Imperato, Legends, Sorcerers, and Enchanted Lizards: Door Locks of the Bamana of Mali." International Journal of African Historical Studies 34:724–725.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo, Kreamer, Christine Mullen, and Mason, Michael A. 2001. "African Voices: Reflections on Process, Intentions, and Strategies." African Arts 34 (2):16–35, 94.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1999. "Overcoming a Colonial Legacy: The New National Museum in Mali: 1976 to the Present." Museum Anthropology 22 (3):28–40. https://doi.org/10.1525/mua.1999.22.3.28
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1998. "Yaya Coulibaly: A Malian Puppeteer." Puppetry International 4:8–11.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1988. "Playing the Puppets: Innovation and Rivalry in Bamana Drama in Mali." TDR Performance Studies 32 (2):65–82.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1987. "Rethinking Definitions of African Traditional and Popular Arts." African Studies Review 30 (3):79–83.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1986. "Puppet Theatre: Form and Ideology in Bamana Performances." Empirical Studies of the Arts 4 (2):131–150.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1984. "The Artistic Heritage of Somalia." African Arts 27 (4):24–33.

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Chapter
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2018. "Bamana Arts and Mande Traditions." in Oxford Bibliographies in Art History, edited by Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta., New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2016. "A Throwing Knife in Motion: The Journey from the Congo to the Smithsonian." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 175–191. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2016. "Material Matters: Ways of Knowing Museum Objects." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 1–11. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2016. "Locating History in Concrete and Bronze: Civic Monuments in Bamako, Mali." in A Companion to Public Art, edited by Krause Knight, Cher and Senie, Harriet F., 93–107. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118475331.ch4
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2013. "Who Owns the Past?: Constructing an Art History of a Malian Masquerade." in African Art, Interviews, Narratives: Bodies of Knowledge at Work, edited by Grabski, Joanna and Magee, Carol., 131–145. African Expressive Cultures. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2011. "Maraka Face Mask with Costume." in [Exhibit Catalog:] Ancestors of Congo Square African Art in the New Orleans Museum of Art, edited by Fagaly, William., 72–73. New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Museum of Art.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2011. "Two Handled Storage Jar." in [Exhibit Catalog:] Ancestors of Congo Square African Art in the New Orleans Museum of Art, edited by Fagaly, William., 31–32. New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Museum of Art.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2010. "Headdress and Hairdos." in Berg encyclopedia of world dress and fashion, edited by Eicher, Joanne and Ross, Doran., 100–106. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2010. "Malian Dress." in Berg encyclopedia of world dress and fashion, edited by Eicher, Joanne and Ross, Doran., 278–283. Oxford: Berg.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2008. "From the Diorama to the Dialogic: A Century of Exhibiting Africa at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History." in Human Zoos: Science and Spectacle in the Age of Colonial Empires, edited by Blanchard, Pascal, Bancel, Nicolas, Boetsch, Gilles, Deroo, Eric, Lemaire, Sandrine, and Forsdick, Charles., 307–327. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo and den Otter, Elisabeth. 2008. "Puppet Masquerade in Kirango, Mali: Continuity, Innovation and Changing Contexts." in Mande Mansa Essays in Honor of David C. Conrad, edited by Belcher, Stephen, Jansen, Jan, and N'Daou, Mohamed., 7–15. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2006. "Ndomo Ritual and Sogo bo Play: Boy's masquerading among the Bamana of Mali." in African Children's Masquerades Playful Performers, edited by Ottenberg, Simon and Binkley, David., 49–66. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2005. "Les sculptures de la rotonde du Musee royal de l'Afrique centrale (1910-2005)." in La memoire du Congo le temps colonial, edited by Vellut, Jean Luc., 180–184.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2005. "African Voices: A Dynamic Collaboration between the Museum and Its Communities." in Representing African Art and Cultures, edited by Kawaguchi, Yukiya and Yoshida, Kenji., 79–97. Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2004. "Commentaries on Beliefs and Values." in See the Music, Hear the Dance: Africa at the Baltimore Museum of Art, edited by Lamp, Fred., 272–275. Prestel.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2004. "African Puppetry." in African Folklore: An Encyclopedia, 376–378.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2004. "Criaçao, Imaginaçao, e Conhecimento nas Máscaras e Marionetas do Mali/ Création, Imagination et Connaissance à Travers les Masques et Marionnettes du Mali." in Sogobò: máscaras e Marionetas do Mali/Masques et Marionettes du Mali, edited by Francisco, Capelo., 22–69. Instituto Portugues de Museus.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2003. "Mali Puppet Theatre." in The Oxford Encyclopedia of theatre and performance, 792.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2003. "Art Colonial: les sculpteurs belges au Congo: 1911-1960." in Regards sur l'art africaniste en Belgique 1880-1960, edited by Guisset, J. and Cornelius, S., 224–251. Musee royal de l'Afrique centrale et Centre culturel de Woluwe-Saint Pierre.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2003. "Naloma-Tlon." in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, 911.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2003. "Koteba." in The Oxford Encyclopedia of theater and performance, 695.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1989. "Reconstructing the History and Development of Puppetry in the Segu Region, Mali." in Man does not go naked: Textilien und Handwerk aus afrikanischen und anderen Ländern: mélanges offerts à Renée Boser-Sarivaxévanis, 221. Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie. Verlag.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1987. "The Legacy of A Name Among the Bamana of Mali." in Generations A Universal Family Album, 157–159. New York and Washington: Pantheon and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

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Book
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. , ed. 2016. Engaging Smithsonian objects through science, history, and the arts. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo and Sullivan, Jack . , eds. 2014. Narratives of the African Landscape: Perspectives on Sustainability. Indiana University Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2014. Masks and Puppets from Mali: Artistry, Imagination and Knowledge. Lisbon: Museu Nacionale de etnologia. Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2014. Máscaras e Marionetas do Mali Criação, Imaginação e Conhecimento. Lisbon: Museu Nationale de Etnologia et Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2009. [Exhibition catalog] Sogo Bo: The Animals Come Forth: Malian Puppets and Masks from the Collection of Mary Sue and Paul Peter Rosen. Tenafly, NJ: The African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1995. Playing with time: art and performance in central Mali. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo and Kreamer, Christine Mullen. 1995. Crowning Achievements: African Arts of Dressing the Head. Los Angeles: Regents of the University of California.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 1994. Where art and ethnology met: the 1922 exhibition of the Herbert Ward collection at the Smithsonian. Washington, DC: Dept. of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.
Web Page
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2013. "Arts of Western Africa."