Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spirit Faces at the Australian Museum

Through March 31, 2013, the Australian Museum of Sydney is presenting a special installation of masks from across Melanesia. Spirit Faces offers visitors the chance to discover the vast variety of South Pacific masks--in form, function, material, and associated mythology.

Visit the Australian Museum's official website.

Eharo mask  -  Papuan Gulf  -  Before 1920
Lorr mask  -  Duke of York Islands  -  Before 1885
Malanggan mask  -  New Ireland  -  Before 1887
Susu mask  -  New Britain  -  Before 1911
Overmodeled shell mask  -  Sepik, Papua New Guinea  -  Second half of 20th century

Images courtesy of the Australian Museum

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Song for the Horse Nation

Opening on October 29 at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC is the major traveling exhibition A Song for the Horse Nation, which presents the epic story of the influence of horses on the indigenous cultures of North America. Through an array of 122 historic objects, artwork, photographs, songs and personal accounts, the exhibition traces the changes horses brought to travel, hunting, and war, and the ways in which Native American tribes celebrated generosity, exhibited bravery, and conducted ceremonies.

This exhibition first opened at the museum's George Gustav Heye Center in New York on November 14, 2009 and was on display until July 10, 2011. The Washington version doubles its exhibition space to 9,500 square feet and features fifteen new objects, including a hand-painted, nineteenth-century Sioux tipi depicting battle and horse raiding scenes.

View the exhibition's official website.

Horse mask  -  Blackfeet, Montana  -  ca. 1830s
Horse mask  -  Lakota, South or North Dakota  -  ca. 1860s
Painted hide robe  -  Blackfeet, Montana  -  Mid-1800s
Sash heddle  -  Ho-Chunk, Nebraska  -  ca. 1862
Shield with cover  -  Comanche, Oklahoma  -  ca. 1875
Quilled bag  -  Lakota, South or North Dakota  -  ca. 1870s

Information and images courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tribal Art Fair Amsterdam 2012

The 2012 edition of Amsterdam's Tribal Art Fair will be held on October 26–28 at its traditional location at De Duif. Nineteen respected dealers will be in attendance, offering tribal objects from Oceania, Africa, Indonesia, South America, Tibet and elsewhere. Comprising a world of jewelry and sculpture, textiles, masks, implements and furniture, the event will be vetted by experts in each region.

Find out more at the official TAF website.

Information and images courtesy of Tribal Art Fair Amsterdam

Monday, October 22, 2012

TABU?! Verborgene Kräfte - Geheimes Wissen

Through April 7, 2013, the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover is presenting TABU?! Verborgene Kräfte - Geheimes Wissenan (Taboo? Hidden Powers - Secret Knowledge), an exceptional assemblage of works from a wide range of traditional cultures which all have a function in dealing with social and cultural tensions and crisis situations. From a Siberian shaman's costume collected in 1788 to a Micronesian Mortlock Island mask, the objects on display evoke a variety of ritual contexts, the true understanding of which was the exclusive province of initiates.

View the exhibition's official website.

Information and images courtesy of the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Histories in Africa: Twenty Years of Photography by Elizabeth Gilbert

Currently on view at The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida is Histories in Africa: 20 Years of Photography by Elizabeth Gilbert, an exhibition showcasing more than fifty black and white photographs documenting Gilbert’s twenty-year journey across the African continent. During this remarkable expedition, Gilbert's aim was to capture a land in flux, one in which traditional cultures and customs were rapidly disappearing. Her hope was to “distill the subjects in a timeless record, and preserve the memory of a lost era long after globalization has eroded it forever.”        

View the exhibition's official website.

Information and images courtesy of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Design en Afrique: s'asseoir, se coucher et rêver

              The Musée Dapper recently opened a new exhibition entitled Design en Afrique: s'asseoir, se coucher et rêver (Design in Africa: To sit, sleep and dream), which reveals a world dedicated to African objects, both contemporary and antique, that support the body. Chairs, stools, and headrests are the highlights of the installation.

View the exhibition's official website.

Information and images courtesy of the Musée Dapper

Friday, October 12, 2012

C'est de l'homme dont j'ai à parler. Rousseau et l'inégalité

Currently on view at the Musée d'Ethnographie de Genève in Switzerland is a compelling exhibition entitled C'est de l'homme dont j'ai à parler. Rousseau et l'inégalité (It is of Men that I Have to Speak. Rousseau and Inequality), which focuses on the historical and cultural milieu of Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. From Geneva to the Americas via Switzerland, the East, and "Negroland"; through images, European and non-European art objects, texts, music, contemporary art and a handful of old books; the MEG invites its visitors to discover Rousseau the anthropologist and, around him, a period which, before ours, thought deeply about the history of mankind and the destiny of the people on earth. With Rousseau as guide, the questions, if not always the answers, are still pertinent today.                  

Visit the exhibition's official website.

 Jean-Jacques Rousseau  -  Design by Albrier, engraving by Huet  -  1825

Mask  -  Iroquois, Canada  -  Beginning of 19th century
Pectoral  -  South Africa, Namibia, or Botswana  -  Late 19th or early 20th century
Friendship baton, hunka-yapi  -  Lakota, North America  -  20th century
Tomahawk pipe  -  North America  -  19th century

Information and images courtesy of the Musée d'Ethnographie de Genève

New Online Sale Exhibition at Jacaranda Tribal

Jacaranda Tribal is now presenting a new sale exhibition of exquisite tribal art from Africa, Oceania, and elsewhere. Our fifteen new offerings include a marvelous Bembe female figure collected by Edmond Dartevelle in the 1930s; a large, lustrous Gambier Islands fish hook carved of a single piece of pearl shell; an astonishingly detailed Javanese keris knife; a beautifully designed Ethiopian processional cross dating from the 13th–14th century; wirework prestige objects from Zimbabwe and South Africa; and more. A selection of highlights from the assemblage are below. For detailed information on these beautiful works and many more, please visit

Female figure  -  Bembe, D. R. Congo  -  Early 20th century
Fish hook  -  Gambier Islands  -  Late 19th century
Keris  -  Java  -  Late 19th or early 20th century
Heddle pulley depicting an avian figure  -  Senufo, Côte d'Ivoire  -  Late 19th or early 20th century
Processional cross  -  Ethiopia  -  13th–14th century
Woman's hat  -  Zulu, South Africa  -  Early 20th century
Pair of stools (one featuring a cache box)  -  Nupe, Nigeria  -  Early 20th century
Prestige knife with wirework  -  Shona, Zimbabwe  -  Late 19th or early 20th century

Aux sources de la peinture aborigène

The newest major exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly is devoted to Australian Aboriginal art. Curated by Judith Ryan of The National Gallery of Victoria and Philippe Batty of the Victoria Museum in Melbourne, Aux sources de la peinture aborigène will be the first European retrospective of the painting movement born in Australia's central desert community of Papunya in the early 1970s. While proclaiming the absolutely contemporary character of this indigenous painting style, the exhibition also explores the movement's iconographic and spiritual sources through the presentation of traditional objects and photographs of ephemeral ritual paintings, most notably those taken by Baldwin Spencer.                                          

Visit the exhibition's official website.

Sans titre, Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi, 1972

Emu Dreaming, Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, 1972
Men's ceremony (Wati Kujarra), Freddy West Tjakamarra, 1972 
Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa, Walter Tjampitjinpa, 1971
Big Pintupi Dreaming ceremony, Anatjari Tjakamarra, 1972
Decorated knives  -  Australian Aboriginal  -  ca. 1900

Information and images courtesy of the Musée du Quai Branly