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