Thursday, August 26, 2010
The University of Iowa Museum of Art presents Ere Ibeji: Yoruba Twin Figures from the Collection of J. Richard Simons
Opening Thursday September 2, 2010
On view through October in Iowa Memorial Union's Black Box Theater
Ere Ibeji: Yoruba Twin Figures from the Collection of J. Richard Simon features the extraordinary 300-piece twin figure collection of UI Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Industrial Engineering J. Richard Simon. In the Yoruba culture of southwest Nigeria, twins are believed to be spirited, unpredictable, fearless, and agents of good luck. However, there and elsewhere in Africa, twins suffer a high mortality rate. With fragile health, one or both twins may fail to survive and after death, the mother commissions a six-to-eight inch ere ibeji, or twin figure, to be cared for just as a family member for generations to come.
Professor Simon has been collecting ere ibeji for over two decades and currently has one of the largest collections in the world. He has generously promised his figures to the University of Iowa Museum of Art.
Two events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition: Christopher Roy's gallery talk on September 16 and a symposium, Images of Twins: ere ibeji of Nigeria's Yoruba people, on October 8. Participants include: Professor John Pemberton, Amherst College, Professor Marilyn Houlberg, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and George Chemeche, artist and collector, New York.
Ere Ibeji: Yoruba Twin Figures from the Collection of J. Richard Simon is curated by Christopher Roy, UI art history professor and Elizabeth M. Stanley, Faculty Fellow of African Art.
Source: University of Iowa Museum of Art