Ancestral Altar Ram Heads from the Collection of Rhonda Morgan Wilkerson, PhD

January 7, 2022 - July 24, 2022

A ram's head sculpture carved from dark wood

This fifth installment of the Ackland’s ongoing series of presentations featuring important works of art from the distinguished collection of Rhonda Morgan Wilkerson, PhD, showcases three ram heads carved for ancestral altars in the cultures of what is now south-central Nigeria. Formally inventive and stylistically diverse, these powerful heads would have been the focus of honoring and commemorating paternal ancestors within a chief’s shrine.

Image credit:

Unidentified artist, Nigerian, perhaps Ishan culture, Ancestral Altar Ram Head, 20th century,wood, 15 × 10 1/2 × 8 1/2 in. (38.1 × 26.7 × 21.6 cm).Collection of Rhonda Morgan Wilkerson, PhD, L2021.15.1.