The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
London, 14 February 2013
The British Museum is hosting from 14 February to 28 April the exhibition “Sowei Mask: Spirit of Sierra Leone”.
Sowei masks, emblematic of the region, are worn by senior members of the all-female Sande Society. In this matriarchal tradition, they are used on the occasion of initiatory ceremonies that lead girls towards adulthood. They express the ideal of feminine beauty, health and serenity.
Masked performances, along with dances and music, play a major symbolic part in the Sande Society. Masks are worn by ndoli jowei (the sowei who dances), with a black raffia and textile costume.
The collection on display was gathered in 1886 by Thomas Joshua Alldridge for the Colonial Exhibition, London. It was emblematic of the exoticism and “otherness” of African culture and its spiritual systems.
San Francisco, 9 February 2013
The de Young Museum – Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco – displays from 9 February to 8 September 2013 a unique series of 39 African, Oceanic and Native American works from the collections of the Ethnological Museum of the Vatican, reflecting various religious cultures.
The set design highlights local and general significance of these objects, as well as the history of their collecting. Thus, among the masterpieces, two masks and three engravings obtained in 1691 by Father Francisco Romero in Santa Maria in the Sierra Nevada, three figurative sculptures representing gods Tu and Tupo sent by the first missionary from Mangareva (Gambier Islands) to Pope Gregory XVI in 1837, or an Aztec sculpture from Quetzalcoatl from the 15th century.
This exhibition takes place within the framework of the renovation of the Ethnological Museum of Vatican, which is expected to reopen in 2014. The de Young Museum had already collaborated with the Vatican in 1982 for the exhibition [.../...]See more
Canberra, 6 February 2013
Vanuatu is very different from other Pacific nations. Traditional practices better known as Kastom remain strong even after a century of dual colonial religious influences. Kastom: Art of Vanuatu presents for the first time the unique collection of arts from this area held by the National Gallery of Australia. In the early 1970s the Gallery contracted an agent to field collect in Vanuatu resulting in the acquisition of nearly two hundred works, a selection of which will be accompanied by other important works from the NGA's Vanuatu collection.
An array of compelling sculptures created for ritual events include the towering four metre figure Maghe ni Hivwir created from tree fern to Ramparamp - the life sized effigies of chiefly men which enabled them to live beyond death. Upright slit drums Atingting hewn of entire tree trunks topped with big eyed faces, sculptures of otherworldly beings in wood, tree fern, clay and stone all feature with the exhibition alongside one of the oldest scientifically dated works from Vanuatu a [.../...]See more
Paris, 29 January 2013
Exhibition titled “Aux sources de la peinture aborigène. Australie” (At the source of Aboriginal painting. Australia), held at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, attracted over 133,700 visitors. The museum located in 7th district, has recently announced it as its fifth best result since the opening in 2006.
The exhibition of Aboriginal painting is the largest initiative of that kind outside of Australia. The collection consisting of over 200 pieces belongs to the National Gallery of Vicotria in Melbourne.
Museum’s spokesman informed that the institution is delighted with the public’s interest in the exhibition, notably in the period when the competition was very strong; Dalí retrospective at the Centre Pompidou and Edward Hopper exhibition in the Grand Palais were held in parallel.
To celebrate the success of the exhibition and mark its end on 26 January, Lena Nyabdi, Aborigine artist who has already effectuated an artwork on the facade of the museum’s building, received a commission for a production located on the [.../...]See more
Toledo, 30 November 2012
Aboriginal Australian art will be on show at the Toldeo Museum of Art in Ohio from 11 April to 14 July 2013, on occasion of a unique exhibition titled “Crossing Cultures: The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art from the Hood Museum of Art”. It will be the first one for the region.
The exhibition will feature over 100 works of contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art, spanning fifty years, by artists from Desert communities and cities. Collectors Will Owen and Harvey Wagner gathered these objects before donating their collection to the Hood Museum of Art. The museum mentions among artists exhibited Michael Riley, Shorty Jangala Robertson, Danny Gibson Tjapaltjarri, Destiny Deacon and Walangkura Napanangka.
“Crossing Cultures” shows by no doubt a great artistic diversity, and unveils the richness of Aboriginal contemporary art – the last major movement of the 20th century. Under the curatorship of Stephen Gilchrist, the exhibition reveals the variety of mediums and materials used by [.../...]See more
New York, 14 November 2012
In its November issue, Asian Art magazine published an article about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s full re-installation of its collection of Chinese ceramics. The adjective “stale” was used to describe the old installation, unchanged for over 30 years. The collection begun in 1879 when the museum purchased around 1,000 pieces, now completed with recently acquired pieces.
The collection will be entirely reorganised according to new guidelines: the aim is no more to show a “monocultural display” of Chinese ceramics, but to include ceramics from Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea, the Islamic world, Europe and the Americas to show the influence Chinese ceramics had on the art of ceramics throughout the world, from 8th to 21st Century. The rearrangement of the installation will also focus on showing how Chinese ceramics themselves were influenced by foreign creations, particularly from the Middle East.
In his article, Martin Barnes Lorber offers a full account of what each new section will entail of. His [.../...]See more
Gatineau, 2 November 2012
From 15 November 2012 through 23 February 2013, the Canadian Museum of Civilization offers to discover Haitian voodoo through the exhibition “Vodou” (Voodoo).
Presented for the first time in Canada, the exhibition features over 300 objects come from the Marianne Lehmann collection, one of the most important in the world. Acclaimed as the major and most complete exhibition about voodoo art, it will enable the public to “discover the way the adepts of voodoo live and understand their own spiritual tradition”.
Far away from the Hollywood clichés, this exhibition is intended to speak truthfully and faithfully for the story and current place of voodoo in everyday Haitian life. The objects on display are additionally accompanied by further information from the adepts of voodoo.
Supported by the Haitian embassy to Canada, this exhibition aims at promoting the Haitian cultural work. It was born from a collaboration between the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Foundation for Preservation, Promotion [.../...]See more
Minneapolis, 29 October 2012
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is welcoming on occasion of an exceptional exhibition the terra cotta soldiers of first Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The exhibition started on 28 October 2012 and will be on show through 20 January 2013.
This exhibition offers to discover the life and legacy of Qin Shi Huang, first Chinese Emperor (221-210 BC) through 120 items, including eight terra cotta soldiers and two horses found in his tomb, as well as other equally rare artefacts. This unique event will enable the public to get to know more about one of the major archaeological discoveries of our times. All these objects – jade artefacts, bronze ritual objects and other gold and silver ornaments – illustrate the advent of the Qin dynasty, over 2,000 years ago.
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts was already one of the first Western museums to organise an exhibition of these masterpieces in 1985. A quarter of century later, Chinese archaelogists are still trying to unveil the mysteries of this tomb, belonging to the [.../...]See more
Kaua’i, 23 October 2012
Kaua’i Museum, located on the oldest islands of Hawai, is a space devoted to the knowledge of the past and future of Kaua’i and Ni’hau’s islands. Since the beginning it is devoted to the history of immigrants and natives in order to promote appreciation and respect for their culture.
The museum is pleased to present an exhibition titled “Heart Works” by Lea Ingram and Bud Spindt, which starts on Friday 26 October 2012. Bud Spindt has used glass in his work for over 25 years. His work is inspired by vivid, saturated tropical colours. His projects comprise sculptures in the public space, architectural elements and conceptual lights.
Lea Ingram chose fabric for her medium. She uses dyed or hand-painted materials as well as the traditional technique of quilt which she modifies and applies in her own way. Her works are thus an interesting combination between painting and fabric.
Paris, 11 October 2012
From 29 October to 18 November 2012, the Atelier Z – Christiane Peugeot Cultural Centre will present an exhibition titled: “Inuit: a Land, a People, an Art”. It intends to reveal to the public the extent of the Inuit culture, neglected for too long.
From the very first lines, the press release describes the exhibition as “free, pedagogical and multidisciplinary”. Displaying sculptures, engravings, but also photographs and rare items from the Inuit lifestyle, this exhibition aims at presenting and highlighting the Inuit culture.
Far away from the aesthetical models of Western art, Inuit art is insufficiently known. It reflects an incredible heritage, currently in danger. Indeed the Inuit tradition is being lost, this Northern people has not been spared by the changes and transformations of the world. Between modernity, influenced by the past, and a culture endangered by a changing environment, what is the place of the Inuit people in this globalised society?
“Inuit: a Land, a People, an Art” is here to remind us of this [.../...]See more