Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Mary Jo Arnoldi

Curator Emeritus (African arts and 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
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. "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. "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. "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. "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.
  • 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.
  • Bowers, Dwight Blocker. 2016. "The "Sole" Survivors: The Smithsonian's Ruby Slippers." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 257–265. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Childs, S. T. 2016. "A Throwing Knife through Production and Use." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 159–173. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Connor, Roger. 2016. "Huey Helicopter: Steed for the "Sky Cavalry"." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 131–143. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Finn, Bernard. 2016. "Thomas Wilfred's Study in Depth, Opus 152: An Artist's Experiment With Lighting." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 49–59. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Fiske, Richard S. 2016. "A Not So Gentle History: Explosions at Kilaueau Volcano, Hawaii." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 79–89. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Frohlich, Bruno and Sturm, Gary. 2016. "Violins from the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and Private Collections: A Pilot Comparative Study." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 117–127. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Gardner, James B. 2016. "Collecting a National Tragedy: The National Museum of American History and September 11." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 279–291. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Goodyear, Frank H., III. 2016. "In the Service of Abolitionism: Augustus Washington's Daguerreotype Portrait of John Brown." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 239–253. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Hughes, Ellen Roney. 2016. "The Amazing Ruby Slippers and Their Magical Travels." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 267–275. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Hunt, David R. 2016. "James Smithson's Remains: A Biological Perspective." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 29–45. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Jakab, Peter L. 2016. "Huey 65-10126: A Curator's Journey of Discovery." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 145–155. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Kaeppler, Adrienne L. 2016. "Objectifying Pele as Performance, Material Culture, and Cultural Landscape." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 91–103. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • London, Marilyn R. 2016. "September 11, 2001, a Moment in Time: Relevance of the Smithsonian Human Skeleton Collections." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 293–303. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Ott, Katherine. 2016. "The Iron Lung in History and Cultural Memory." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 195–205. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Shumard, Ann M. 2016. "Augustus Washington: Daguerreotypist of John Brown." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 223–237. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Stamm, Richard. 2016. "Smithson's Crypt and the Search for a Proper Memorial." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 15–27. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Sturm, Gary and Frohlich, Bruno. 2016. "How to Identify a Stradivarius Stringed Instrument." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 107–115. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • White, Matthew A. 2016. "Whatever Happened to the Iron Lung? Visitor Memories of an Iconic Medical Object." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 207–219. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Zilczer, Judith. 2016. "Silent Music: Thomas Wilfred's Study in Depth, Opus 152." in Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo., 61–75. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • 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. "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. 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. 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. 2003. "Mali Puppet Theatre." in The Oxford Encyclopedia of theatre and performance, 792.
  • Geary, Christraud M. 1996. "Art, Politics, and the Transformation of Meaning: Bamum Art in the Twentieth Century." in African Material Culture, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo, Geary, Christraud M., and Hardin, Kris., 283–307. Indiana University Press.
  • Ravenhill, Philip L. 1996. "The Passive Object and the Tribal Paradigm: Colonial Museography in French West Africa." in African Material Culture, edited by Arnoldi, Mary Jo, Geary, Christraud, and Hardin, Kris., 265–282. Indiana University Press.
  • 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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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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Book
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. , ed. 2016. Engaging Smithsonian objects through science, history, and the arts. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • 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. Máscaras e Marionetas do Mali Criação, Imaginação e Conhecimento. Lisbon: Museu Nationale de Etnologia et Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda.
  • 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. 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."