Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Next: GIFT TO THE NATION

Elyn Zimmerman (American, 1945)


Mkusanyiko wa Marafiki/Assembly of Friends, 2002, African red granite, six panels: 7 feet x 4 inches x 8 inches

“My experience creating a project for the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was shadowed by the terrorist violence that destroyed the old embassy in 1998, killing a number of people. I wanted to make an artwork that spoke about coming together…. not being driven apart. The entry plaza with its small pool was the perfect site to construct my concept of a group of stone forms, of African granite, positioned around water — this being symbolic of the innumerable village wells and how they are peaceful gathering places. The title in Swahili, ‘Mkusanyiko wa Marafiki’, translates as ‘An Assembly of Friends’.”

Assembly of Friends is a large-scale sculpture that groups six related geometric forms around a granite-rimmed pool. The work was commissioned by FAPE in 2002 for the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and was installed by the artist in June 2004.

Elyn Zimmerman was born in Philadelphia. Her work has been seen in one-person exhibitions at numerous galleries and museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Wave Hill, Riverdale, NY; the San Fransisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art. She is represented in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York City, among others.

Gift of the artist with additional funding provided by Cold Spring Granite and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

About the project →
View a film about this project →
Artist website →

© Elyn Zimmerman Photograph: Elyn Zimmerman

Subscribe to our newsletter