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
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2022. "The Community Speaks with Many Voices: Representing Cultural Heritage in the Smithsonian's African Voices Exhibition." In Heritage Practices in Africa. Iida, Taku, editor. 149–164. Osaka, Japan: National Museum of Ethnology. In Senri Ethnological Studies, 109.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2021. "Sogobo: Puppet Arts and Masquerade in Mali." In Bodies of Enchantment: Puppets from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. Levell, Nicola, editor. 141–160. Vancouver, British Columbia: University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo, Keita, Daouda, and Sidibe, Samuel. 2021. "The National Museum of Mali, 1960-present:: Protecting and Promoting the National Cultural Heritage." In National Museums in Africa: History, Identity and Politics. Silverman, Raymond, Abungu, George, and Probst, Peter, editors. 139–158. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2018. "Masks, Puppets and Masquerades: Reflections on Field Research in Mali; 1978-1980." Mande Studies, 20 111–122. https://doi.org/10.2979/mande.20.1.10.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2018. "Bamana Arts and Mande Traditions." In Oxford Bibliographies in Art History. Kaufmann, Thomas DaCosta, editor. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo, editor. 2016. Engaging Smithsonian objects through science, history, and the arts. 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. Arnoldi, Mary Jo, editor. 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. Arnoldi, Mary Jo, editor. 1–11. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2016. "All the World's Futures: The 55th Venice Biennale." African Arts, 49, (3) 84–85. https://doi.org/10.1162/AFAR_r_00302.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2016. "Locating History in Concrete and Bronze: Civic Monuments in Bamako, Mali." In A Companion to Public Art. Krause Knight, Cher and Senie, Harriet F., editors. 93–107. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118475331.ch4.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo and Sullivan, Jack , editors. 2014. Narratives of the African Landscape: Perspectives on Sustainability. Indiana University Press. In Africa Today.
  • 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. 2014. "Preservation and Heritage Management in Mali: The Old towns of Djenné and the Sanké Mon fishing rite." Africa Today, 61, (1) 46–67.
  • 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. Grabski, Joanna and Magee, Carol, editors. 131–145. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. In African Expressive Cultures.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2013. Arts of Western Africa.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2012. ""From Timbuktu to Washington" Reflections on the 2003 Mali Porgram at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival." Africa Today, 59, (1) 3–24. https://doi.org/10.2979/africatoday.59.1.3.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2012. "Ivan Karp (1943-2011)." African Arts, 45, (2) 8. https://doi.org/10.1162/afar.2012.45.2.8.
  • 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. Fagaly, William, editor. 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. Fagaly, William, editor. 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. Eicher, Joanne and Ross, Doran, editors. 100–106. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers. 1
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2010. "Malian Dress." In Berg encyclopedia of world dress and fashion. Eicher, Joanne and Ross, Doran, editors. 278–283. Oxford: Berg. 1
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2009. [Book review] "African Art and the Colonial Encounter: Inventing a Global Commodity, by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir." Research in African Literatures, 40, (3), 246–247. https://doi.org/10.2979/RAL.2009.40.3.246.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2009. Sogo Bo: The Animals Come Forth: Malian Puppets and Masks from the Collection of Mary Sue and Paul Peter Rosen [Exhibition catalog] Tenafly, NJ: The African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers.
  • 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. Blanchard, Pascal, Bancel, Nicolas, Boetsch, Gilles, Deroo, Eric, Lemaire, Sandrine, and Forsdick, Charles, editors. 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. Belcher, Stephen, Jansen, Jan, and N'Daou, Mohamed, editors. 7–15. New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2007. "Bamako, Mali: Monuments and Modernity in the Urban Imagination." Africa Today, 54, (2) 2–24. https://doi.org/10.2979/AFT.2007.54.2.2.
  • 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. Ottenberg, Simon and Binkley, David, editors. 49–66. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2006. "Youth Festivals and Museums: The Cultural Politics of Public Memory in Post Colonial Mali." Africa Today, 52, (4) 54–76. https://doi.org/10.2979/AFT.2006.52.4.54.
  • 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. Vellut, Jean Luc, editor. 180–184.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2005. "African Voices: A Dynamic Collaboration between the Museum and Its Communities." In Representing African Art and Cultures. Kawaguchi, Yukiya and Yoshida, Kenji, editors. 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. Lamp, Fred, editor. 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. Francisco, Capelo, editor. 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. Guisset, J. and Cornelius, S., editors. 224–251. Musee royal de l'Afrique centrale et Centre culturel de Woluwe-Saint Pierre.
  • Arnoldi, Mary Jo. 2003. "Resources on Mali." AnthroNotes, 24, (2) 10, 15–16. https://doi.org/10.5479/10088/22401.
  • 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: History, Cultures, and the Arts." AnthroNotes, 24, (2) 1–10. https://doi.org/10.5479/10088/22400.
  • 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. 1995. Playing with time: art and performance in central Mali. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. In Traditional arts of Africa.
  • 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.
  • 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. Verlag. 30 in Basler Beiträge zur Ethnologie.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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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