Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Encounters with Hawai'i: Art in an Age of Exploration, 1778–1820

On view now at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Encounters with Hawai'i: Art in an Age of Exploration, 1778–1820 brings together artwork associated with the European navigational voyages of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These lengthy expeditions explored and charted the lands that dotted the Pacific, and they carried with them painters, draftsmen, scientists, and cartographers, who documented the flora, fauna, terrain, and inhabitants of the distant lands they encountered. The drawings, paintings, and prints they generated comprise the earliest visual record of Hawai‘i.
The installation begins with the British painter and draftsman John Webber, who traveled with Captain James Cook’s third and final voyage, from 1776 to 1780. This expedition brought Cook and his crew to Hawai‘i, and Webber, as its official artist, pictured their experiences and discoveries in an elaborate series of drawings and watercolors, which were published to illustrate the official narrative of Cook’s travels.
Subsequent trips brought additional artists—most notably the Russian Louis Choris and the Frenchman Jacques Arago—who depicted Hawaiian religion and customs before and shortly after the fall of the kapu system. Taken together, these works reflect an era of great curiosity about the world and its inhabitants, and in their time popularized Hawai‘i for audiences well beyond its shores.

Louis Choris, A Temple in the Sandwich Islands, ca 1819

John Webber, Kealakekua Bay and the Village "Kowrooa", 1779

Images and information courtesy of the Honolulu Museum of Art

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kotoko Equestrians: Guardians of the Soul

An exhibition of talismans from the prestigious collection of Pierluigi Peroni entitled Kotoko Equestrians, Guardians of the Soul in currently on view at the Museum of African Art in Belgrade. The show displays miniature bronze figurines, talismans bearing the horse and rider motif, featuring exceptional stylistic versatility and strong symbolic meaning in the culture of the Kotoko people of western Africa. Similar to amulets worn in cultures across the globe that are believed to bring good luck or blessings of the gods, Kotoko equestrian figurines are personal items most often worn as pendants on necklaces or bracelets, representing a source of spiritual strength for their owners.

View the exhibition's official website.

Images courtesy of the Museum of African Art, Belgrade

Monday, August 25, 2014

Tribal Art London 2014

The only London show specializing in tribal art is getting a makeover this year. It is being renamed Tribal Art London and will henceforth be held at Mall Galleries, where it will include twice as many participants as previous years. This should also double the chances that its attendees will be able to find the masks, figures, textiles, ornaments, and ethnographic photographs they are looking for. Books and publications will also be available, and Tribal Art Magazine will have a presence at the event as well.

More information can be found at the fair's official website.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Raven's Many Gifts: Native Art of the Northwest Coast

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts presents a new installation drawn from the museum's Native American art collection - the oldest, most comprehensive ongoing collection of its kind in the Western hemisphere. Raven's Many Gifts: Native Art of the Northwest Coast celebrates the rich artistic legacy of Native artists along the Pacific Northwest Coast while exploring dynamic relationships among humans, animals, ancestors and supernatural beings. Featuring nearly 30 works from the 19th century to present day, the installation includes superlative examples of works on paper, wood carvings, textiles, films, music and jewelry. 

Dance mask  -  Bella Bella, Northwest Coast

Image courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Parcours des Mondes 2014

For its 13th edition, taking place September 9–14, Parcours des Mondes will have the pleasure of presenting 68 exhibitors, half of them coming from outside of France, and with the exceptional participation of nine American art dealers, including the Thomas Murray, Bruce Frank, Jacaranda, and Donald Ellis. Arts from Africa will have the place of honor, but also the arts of Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, as well as arts of the Himalayas, Indonesia, India, and elsewhere. Also to be noted is a clear and natural expansion into archaeological works with classical antiquities from Egypt and the Near East. 

Visit the official website.

Pipe bowl  -  Mangbetu, D.R. Congo  -  Late 19th or early 20th century
On view at Jacaranda, exhibiting at 54 rue Mazarine

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Tribal Art Auction at Zemanek-Münster

Zemanek-Münster will present a discovery auction of more than 700 lots from European estates on Thursday, September 4. The lots will comprise a vast array of traditional objects from Africa, Oceania, Indonesia, and elsewhere.

View the online catalogue.

Mask  -  Dan, Côte d'Ivoire

Helmet mask, epa  -  Yoruba, Nigeria

Guardian figure, hampatong  -  Dayak, Borneo

Images courtesy of Zemanek-Münster

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Crafting Colour: Beads, Pattern and Painting from the Kalahari

Contemporary prints and paintings produced in western Botswana over the last twenty five years feature in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s summer South Lecture Room exhibition, Crafting Colour: Beads, Pattern and Painting from the Kalahari. Many of the artists responsible talk about their work as a form of storytelling, and the stories they tell relate to the lives of their ancestors, hunting and gathering, but also their lives today, living on a former mission with limited access to the land and the resources it once supplied. The exhibition juxtaposes black and white images of San people in Botswana during the 1930s from the museum’s collections, with the colourful images produced more recently at the Kuru Art Project. This art workshop, established in 1990 at D’Kar in western Botswana, was inspired by the ancient tradition of San rock art found across southern Africa.

Visit the exhibition's official website.

Adam and Eve Leave the Garden, Jan Tcega

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Buddha's Word: The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond

Buddha’s Word is the first museum exhibition of Tibetan material in Cambridge. It is also the first time in the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology’s history that its Buddhist collections will be showcased in an exhibition. Many of the artifacts, prints and manuscripts in the exhibition have never been on public display before. Exhibits include some of the oldest illuminated Buddhist manuscripts from the first decades of the eleventh century as well as specimens of skillfully illuminated wooden covers; a quartet of scroll paintings brought back from the infamous Young husband Expedition; and a gift from the 13th Dalai Lama. The exhibition charts some of the incredible journeys that the words of the Buddha have taken: crossing mountains and oceans and taking different material forms in different places.

Visit the official website.

Images courtesy of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge

Friday, August 8, 2014

Turquoise, Water, Sky

The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe has opened a new long-term exhibition that draws on its collection of turquoise jewelry and related artifacts. Titled Turquoise, Water, Sky: The Stone and Its Meaning, it explores the importance of this delicately colored stone to the peoples of the American Southwest. While we generally associate it with jewelry, turquoise also has long had ritual importance and significant trade implications. Even its geology is addressed in this comprehensive survey.

View the official website.

Cuff by Angie Reano Owen