Monday, October 26, 2015

Tribal Art Sale at Skinner

On November 7 in Boston, Skinner will hold an eclectic auction of American Indian and ethnographic art including objects collected by Captain William Trotter during his voyages in the Pacific and Atlantic between 1781 and 1796. Included will be a rare eight-foot-long Tongan spear club presented to Trotter by a Tongan king during a re-provisioning stopover in 1796 and an Aleutian Island straw purse produced by a culture known for its exceptionally fine twining. Trotter’s ship logs from these voyages were recently sold by Skinner for $22,140.

View the online catalogue.

Aleutian Islands purse  -  Late 19th century

Hide painted by Chiricahua Apache Naiche  -  Late 19th/early 20th century
Tongan spear-club  -  Mid-18th century

Navajo Third Phase chief's blanket  -  Ca 1870s

Dag knife  -  Mid-19th century

Kiowa man's painted hide shirt  -  Late 19th century
Images courtesy of Skinner

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tribal Art Sale at Heritage

On November 6, 2015, Heritage will hold a sale featuring American Indian, Pre-Columbian, and tribal art. The Pre-Columbian element of the sale is strong in Central and South American goldwork and other jewelry, and Native American beadwork, pipes, and jewelry will also be offered. The centerpiece of the sale will be the Howard and Catherine Feldman Collection, which features more than 350 masks, largely from Mexico and the Himalayas, as well as a substantial number of Congo maskettes. 

View the online catalogue.

Delaware bandolier bag  -  Ca 1840

Plateau hide dress  -  Ca 1880

Images courtesy of Heritage Auction

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tribal Art Fair 2015

The thirteenth annual Amsterdam Tribal Art Fair will be held from October 30–November 1 in the De Duif church, a mid-nineteenth century Catholic edifice that is now used to host a variety of events. Twenty galleries, both Dutch and from abroad, will be on hand to present a large selection of masks, figures, ornaments, textiles, and utilitarian objects from Africa, Oceania, Asia, and the Americas. The arts of Indonesia and New Guinea historically have been especially well represented in this show, making it a point of honor for dealers to bring increasingly better pieces. The show is always an interesting event both for experienced collectors as well as for those who are just beginning to explore this vast and fascinating field.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Art Berbère, Regards Sur Une Collection

Until November 1, Espace 251 Nord in Liege is featuring Art Berbère, regards sur une collection, an exhibition offering a unique opportunity to discover the rich Amazigh (Berber) patrimony through the exceptional Lucien Viola collection of antique weavings and clothing for ceremonial and daily use. For the first time in Europe, architectural elements and exceptional Berber ceilings from the 20th century will be featured as well. This installation allows for the discovery of some of the myths that surround and explain these North African masterworks, retracing the exact origins of each weaving.

Visit the Espace 251 Nord website.

Boy's cape, akhnif  -   Collection Lucien Viola -  Photo by Philippe De Formanoir

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tribal Art Auction at Zemanek-Münster

Zemanek-Münster will present their 81st sale of tribal art and artifacts in Würzburg on October 31.  The  large auction will present a wide array of sculptural works, highlighting a number of beautiful figures from West and Central Africa. Asian art will also be included alongside traditional works from Oceania, the Himalayas and elsewhere.

View the online catalogue.

Commemorative figure of a king  -  Bangwa, Cameroon Grassfields

Mask, dyodyomini  -  Dogon, Mali

Reliquary figure, mbulu ngulu  -  Kota, Gabon

Power figure, nkisi  -  Kongo/Mayombe/Vili, D.R. Congo

Images courtesy of Zemanek-Münster

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Interwoven: Native Californian Basketry Arts from the Missions Forward

Drawn primarily from mission collections, Interwoven presents over 50 baskets created by Native American Californians, including the world-renowned Chumash and Pomo weavers. With a focus on baskets made during the Mission era (1769-1830s) to the early 20th century, Interwoven includes functional baskets such as parching trays and cradleboards as well as baskets made exclusively for trade with Europeans, all demonstrating exemplary basketry arts. This remarkable collection represents numerous tribal traditions and reveals the complex artistic sensibilities, inventiveness and ingenuity of Native weavers working with natural materials. Baskets tell a remarkable story of cultural continuity and survival despite conquest, environmental interruptions, suppressive policies and huge population loss. The weavers’ knowledge of the environment and their exemplary artistry have been passed from generation to generation despite these historic and cultural intrusions.

Visit the USF website.

Photos courtesy of the University of San Francisco

Monday, October 12, 2015

Himalaya Tribal

Despite its rugged terrain, the Himalaya chain, which spreads over five countries (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet), is home to sixty-five million people. While the range’s massive size (more than 2,500 kilometers long) has been instrumental in preventing China and India from directly influencing one another, the “Roof of the World” is a place where internal interactions have developed and where both unique and hybrid cultures have sprung up because of migrations and the adaptation of regional traditions to local ecosystems. The little-known art of the Himalayan peoples reflects the diversity of the area particularly well. Himalaya Tribal, an exhibition in its final weeks at the Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Asie de Vichy, is a fine introduction to the creations of these peoples and features magnificent objects that tell the stories of origin myths, seasonal festivities, and funerary and magical rites. Highlights of the exhibition include a magnificent Bhairava mask from the Kathmandu Valley, a striking Magar shaman’s suit of armor, a protective figure from the Terai Valley, and a smiling Tibetan citipati mask.

Image courtesy of Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Asie de Vichy

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Diverging Streams: Eastern Nigerian Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art

A new gallery for thematic exhibitions of African art at the Baltimore Museum of Art debuts with the reopening of the Museum's collection galleries. Diverging Streams: Eastern Nigerian Art features nearly 20 headdresses, masks, and costumes from the eastern Nigerian region of Africa, demonstrating the exchange between the Igbo, Jukun, Igala, Ogoni, Boki, Idoma, Ibibio, and Ejagham artists who lived between the Benue and Cross rivers.

Visit the BMA website for more information.

Janiform head crest  -  Cross River, Nigeria  -  Early 20th century

Installation view at the BMA

Friday, September 25, 2015

Beneath the Surface: Life, Death and Gold in Ancient Panama

Beneath the Surface: Life, Death, and Gold in Ancient Panama, at the Penn Museum until November 1, 2015, explores the history of, archaeological evidence about, and new research perspectives on the Coclé people who lived from about 700 to 900 CE. Video footage from the original Sitio Conte excavation and more than 200 objects from the famous excavation provide an immersive experience in this installation. One massive burial, dubbed “Burial 11” by the excavators, yielded the most extraordinary materials from the excavation. Believed to be that of a paramount chief, it contained twenty-three individuals in three distinct layers, accompanied by a vast array of grave objects. A to-scale installation of the burial serves as the exhibition’s centerpiece and features many artifacts displayed in the actual positions in which they were found, as well as digital interactive stations that allow for further exploration.

View the exhibition's official website.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Homme Blanc/Homme Noir. Impressions d'Afrique

Fascination, repulsion, desire, and even mockery have long characterized the ways in which Africans and Westerners have perceived one another. The second exhibition devoted to African art at the Pierre Arnaud Foundation, Homme Blanc/Homme Noir, Impressions d’Afrique (White Man/Black Man, Impressions of Africa), on view until October 25, 2015, examines several centuries of exchange and misunderstanding through a selection of works created between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries by both African and European artists. The visions of Westerners such as Géricault, Vallotton, and even Man Ray are juxtaposed with those of anonymous Igbo, Baule, or Kongo sculptors. The works displayed are from public collections (the Musée du Louvre and the Musée Royal d’Afrique Central in Tervuren), as well as from private ones, most notably that of Alain Weill.

For an in-depth look at the exhibition, visit the Fondation Pierre Arnaud website.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Les Aztèques, peuple du Soleil

Developed in collaboration with the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History, the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History of Montreal is presenting the story of one of Central America’s most fascinating civilizations with Les Aztèques, peuple du soleil (The Aztec, People of the Sun). The exhibition is comprehensive in its approach and explores subjects such as everyday life, agriculture, war, architecture, religion, human sacrifice, the worship of the gods and the sun, the calendar, and the well-known codices. Through a selection of 275 objects on loan from Mexican museums, the show’s overview of Aztec culture showcases some of the major artworks that comprise its patrimony. Prominent among these are two monumental terracotta sculptures from the Templo Mayor; a well-known vase that represents the rain god Tláloc; a rare wooden mask inlaid with turquoise, shell, and mother-of-pearl; and many other not-to-be-missed masterpieces.

Visit the PAC Musée website.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Gold of the Ancient Americas

On view now at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore is Gold of the Ancient Americas, an exhibition showcasing more than 50 artifacts, including cast animal pendants, a hammered gold disc, beaded necklaces and nose ornaments made by the indigenous peoples of the ancient Americas from Peru to Panama. The exhibition explores the Walters’ collection of gold ornaments crafted in Central and South America between AD 500 and 1500, alongside gifts to the collection from several generous donors. A mix of art and science, the exhibition tells the story of ancient societies through their use of gold as a symbol of power, wealth, and privilege, and highlights the making of gold objects by ancient American goldsmiths before the Spanish conquest.

Visit the Walters Art Museum website.

Images courtesy of the Walters Art Museum

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pre-Columbian Art Sale at Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger

German auctioneers Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger will present a sale of ancient art and artifacts on September 21 in Munich. Alongside a range of ancient European sculpture and coins will be offered a selection of beautiful pre-Columbian works, primarily ceramics from West Mexico and South America.  

For more information, view the online catalogue.

Warrior figure  -  Colima, Mexico

Female figure -  Chupicuaro, Mexico

Painted vessel  -  Maya, Mexico

 Images courtesy of Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dance of the Ancestors: Art from the Sepik of Papua New Guinea

In its last days at the Museum Rietberg in Zürich is Dance of the Ancestors: Art from the Sepik of Papua New Guinea, an exhibition focusing on the many tribes of the Sepik River in northern Papua New Guinea. Philippe Peltier of the Musée du Quai Branly and Markus Schindlbeck of the Berlin Ethnologisches Museum, the exhibition’s curators, have assembled 220 objects, all from European museums and for the most part collected prior to World War I, with the intention of making the show more than just an art exhibition, but a tribute to the wealth and diversity of these cultures, as well as a key for understanding their lifestyles and their complex social organization.

Visit the Museum Rietberg website.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Christie's Tribal Art Preview in Paris

On September 8–15, set to coincide with this year's edition of Parcours des Mondes, Christie's is exhibiting a selection of highlights from their upcoming December sale of African, Oceanic and Native American art in Paris. The installation, on view at 9 ave Mantignon, will feature a range of fine tribal works, including a Fang figure from the collection of André Fourquet.

Purchase the sale catalogue.

Male figure  -  Fang, Gabon

Image courtesy of Christie's 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Missionaries and Idols in Polynesia

An exhibition currently on view at the Brunei Gallery of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London documents the early years of the London Missionary Society (LMS), from its formation in 1795 until around 1825, the time of its initial “success” in central Polynesia, a triangle in the Pacific encompassing the Society Islands, the Cooks, and the Australs. The first half of the exhibition shows forty archival items—paintings, engravings, prints, books, imprints, and more —that together illustrate the formation of the LMS, the missionaries themselves, the voyage of the missionary ship Duff, and the society’s Missionary Museum in London. The second half of the exhibition, in the words of missionary Rev. John Williams, puts on view an “ocular demonstration” of forty idols and non-idol artifacts that the LMS missionaries collected and sent back to their headquarters.

Visit the official exhibition website.

Fly whisk handle  -  Rurutu, Austral Islands

Case of Polynesian idols depicted in Juvenile Missionary Magazine, 1860

Spear point-cum-feather god  -  Cook Islands

War god, Oro  -  Tahiti

Devils and Gods

Les diables et les dieux (Devils and Gods), currently on view at Château de Tanlay until September 20, creates a dialogue between contemporary art and traditional works from non-Western cultures. Without the imposition of any cultural hierarchy, the works of Bengt Lindström, Barthélémy Toguo, Coco Fronsac, and Cyprien Tokoudagba are installed side by side with some fifty pieces from traditional cultures of Africa, Oceania, and the Himalayas to form a compelling aesthetic conversation.

Visit the official Château de Tanlay website.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sotheby's Preview Exhibition

Planned to coincide with the 2015 edition of Parcours des Mondes, Sotheby’s will present highlights of their upcoming December 2 tribal art auction in a preview exhibition at Galerie Charpentier on September 8–12. Some remarkable pieces from Cameroon and Oceania from the well-known René and Odette Delenne Collection will be among these treasures, as will a group of African works from the Frum Collection (Oceanic objects from which were sold by Sotheby’s with resounding success in September 2014). An Ndassa (Gabon) reliquary guardian figure collected before 1930 and which is from the same collection as the beautiful Kota Shamaye sold at the winter 2012 sale will also be on view.

Images courtesy of Sotheby's

Monday, August 24, 2015

Hughes Dubois. 35 ans de carrière photographique

As one of the many special exhibitions in this year's edition of Parcours des Mondes, Tribal Art Magazine will present Hughes Dubois. 35 ans de carrière photographique from September 8–13 at 22 rue Visconti in Paris. This installation celebrates the well-known photographer's three and a half decades in the field, showcasing his work with tribal material through some 186 Polaroids. The exhibition will also offer a look at a new project of Dubois's devoted to nighttime images of the majestic temple of Borobudur in Indonesia.

Hemba ancestor figure, D.R. Congo  -  Hughes Dubois

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo in the 19th Century

An exhibition currently at the Heard Museum looks at the history of New Mexico's Isleta Pueblo from the residents’ perspective, particularly focusing on the lasting effects of nineteenth-century events on their lives today. Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo in the 19th Century uses historic photographs and a variety of other media to tell the story of the pueblo and its evolution. It opens with a look at the cycle of the traditional year as it was observed in the mid-nineteenth century and then traces the arrival of the Americans, the ways this influx disrupted the Isleta way of life, and the cultural adaptations the Isleta residents were forced to make over time. Time Exposures will be on view until September 27, 2015.

For more information, visit the exhibition's official website.

View of San Augustine Mission Church  -  Unknown photographer, 1880

Ambrosio Abeita, photographed by A.Z. Shindler, 1868

Images courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution and Maxwell Museum of Anthropology