The Power of Gold
"The Power of Gold: Asante Royal Regalia from Ghana" offers a dazzling vision of more than 200 gleaming gold items of regalia, colorful and intricately woven silk kente cloth, ceremonial furniture, state swords, linguist staffs, and other significant objects related to Asante royals from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. Founded around 1700 with wealth derived from the gold trade with North Africa and Europe, the Asante Kingdom was a powerful polity in West Africa. Together these explore the unique role and impact of gold on the development of Asante society, economy, and arts. Curated by Roslyn A. Walker, the DMA’s senior curator of the arts of Africa, the Americas, and the Pacific, "The Power of Gold" is inspired by works in the DMA’s collection and will feature objects from private and public collections.
After a long journey during which it was seen in venues around the world—from Bogotá to several venues in China—the Bowers Museum’s special exhibition featuring selections from its Native American collection will finally be on view in its own facility from April 7 until August 19, 2018. "First Americans: Tribal Art from North America" includes artwork representative of native peoples from the Arctic North, the Northwest Coast, California, the Southwest, and the Great Plains. Highlights include what may be the earliest example of a transitional Navajo First Phase chief‘s blanket, a particularly early and fine Hopi katsina doll, a rare Seri feathered kilt from Baja California, a Lakota eagle feather headdress, and a Tlingit oystercatcher rattle.
Coiling Culture: Basketry Art of Native North America
Baskets were one of the first art forms in the Americas, with basket fragments found in California and the Southwest dating to 9,400 years ago. Over the millennia, native North Americans developed elaborate techniques and intricate designs worked in local materials, from sweetgrass in Florida to black ash in the Northeast and deer grass in California, among many others. These materials were sacred to their makers and those who used these special containers. So too was the way each was made with coiling, especially poignant, symbolizing for many groups the path of human emergence from inside earth and the movement of the spirits between realms. This display in the Art of the Americas' galleries explores the intersection between material, making, and meaning in the fragile basketry art of the Southeast to the Southwest and up into the Arctic.
The Náprstek Museum in Prague is holding an exhibition devoted to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. "Indians" brings together objects collected by Czech explorers and researchers, supported by large-scale photographs and audio and video clips. The show’s first section acquaints visitors with North America through displays focusing on the buffalo hunt of the Great Plains, the geometric pottery designs and the secret ceremonies of the Pueblos, Navajo jewelry, and the hunter-gatherer culture of the Iroquois. Also included here are Inuit objects, including their signature kayaks, igloos, and hooded parkas. The show’s second part is devoted to the past and present cultures of South America. It examines the road to El Dorado, the mythical land imagined by the European conquistadors, and the very real discoveries of archaeological sites in the Andes and at Lake Guatavita. Included is a recreation of the coronation of a new leader. Indians expounds upon the history, lives, and spiritual practices of the native peoples of two American continents. More info on: www.nm.cz.
In this exhibition, the Musée des Confluences in Lyon is offering a fresh look at its anthropological and natural history collections. This is a rare opportunity to travel through time to see how those collections were formed and how they have contributed to scientific research. The exhibition opens with the eighteenth century, a time when, within the contexts of exploration and colonization, objects from around the world developed scientific relevance. Explorers of all kinds collected innumerable objects from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Masks, items of clothing, weapons, utilitarian objects, and items intended for ritual use began to be used to document hitherto unknown lands. Private collectors and dealers in antiques and natural history specimens became important sources and donors for the museum. Ultimately, the intent of the exhibition is to explore what the museum holdings are today and what the patrimony of the future will be.
New Caledonian Trajectories
The Musée Anne-de-Beaujeu is presenting some 100 objects selected from its non-European art collection. Including artworks never before exhibited, as well as others borrowed from prestigious institutions such as the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and the Musée des Confluences, "Trajectoires Kanak. Histoires de voyages en Nouvelle-Calédonie" (Kanak Trajectories: Histories of Voyages in New Caledonia) explores three events in New Caledonian history. The first is the story of French colonist Léon Moncelon, who moved to New Caledonia with his family in 1873. This is followed by that of Pierre Poyti, a mixed-blood New Caledonian, who was raised in France, and, finally, by that of the New Caledonian chief Poindi-Patchili, who resisted European settlement of his territory. A group of thirty-six New Caledonian weapons, including paddles, clubs, spear throwers, and clubs that Moncelon collected and gave to the museum is presented along with artifacts associated with Poindi-Patchili. These objects lend insight into the figures on the New Caledonian scene in the late nineteenth century—the autochthonous people, the colonials, the missionaries, and the scientists. The exhibition also sheds light on the expeditions into the region and describes the environment, ritual universe, and ornaments of the New Caledonian people. More info on: http://musees.allier.fr.
The Ramanyana narrated by the masks Rajbanchi
From 22 December 2017 until 28 October 2018, this exhibition takes you on a journey through the northern regions of India and southern Nepal. It was born from a dream: to create a museum in Nepal that celebrates the arts of Nepalese or neighboring ethnic minorities. A set of 90 ancient masks evokes the Ramayana. This long mythological epic tells of Rama's struggle to recover his wife, Sita, abducted by Ravana, 10-headed demon of Ceylon, with the help of Hanuman and his army of monkeys. It is commemorated during shows performed by inhabitants who, for several days, play the major events of this story by climbing or masking. Some paintings of the Mithila and a series of textiles from Bhutan enrich the collection which offers a wide panorama of the artistic production of a people too often ignored. The exhibition is held at the Bernard and Caroline de Watteville Foundation in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. More information about tne exhibition available on : www.art-et-collections.ch
So Far and So Near
An exhibition opening March 20, 2018, at the Barbier-Mueller Museum juxtaposes works in the Swiss museum’s collection with those of contemporary artist Silvia Bächli, who is also curating the exhibition. Conceived of as a creative game with the museum’s staff, So Far and So Near: Tribal Arts Through the Eyes of Sylvia Bächli will present the artist’s gouaches on paper along with about sixty works she has selected from the museum’s collection. The juxtaposition of contemporary art and non-Western works is intended to provoke reflection on the form, status, and function attributed to art objects of any origin, whether from the West or elsewhere. The forms of the Barbier-Mueller Museum’s masks, figures, vessels, and shields are intended to serve as a formal counterpoint to the sense of movement and line created by the Swiss artist, and unexpected responses are born of these aesthetic encounters. The role of each participant in the transformation of the object into an artwork—the expert, the dealer, the anthropologist, the collector, the curator, and the display designer—will be detailed in the catalog that accompanies the show.
Tuareg, Nomad Tales
Perceived by their Western colonizers as everything from noble and chivalrous to bloodthirsty and savage, the image of the Tuareg that was built up during colonial times remains firmly rooted in many minds. In "Touaregs, récits nomades", the Musée des Confluences challenges these stereotypes and reveals the Tuareg in all of their complexity and dynamism. The first part focuses on the watercolors of Paul-Elie Dubois, as well as on archival documents and popular items. It then moves on to the remarkable collection of jewelry and amulets donated by the Masnat Association in 2015. These create an immersive experience in the Tuareg aesthetic universe, which is characterized by restraint, equilibrium, a distinctive geometry, and a unique use of color. Excerpts from poems accompany the presentation. Finally, the exhibition examines how the Tuareg are changing their traditional codes while at the same time reaffirming their identity. Like the jewelry they adapt to Western uses, they are reappropriating an idealized Western image to diffuse their culture, to make their demands known, and to enter into a new form of resistance.
"Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit" examines the breadth of Hopi material and spiritual culture throughout time, ranging from ancestral Sikyatki polychrome ceramic vessels to historic kachina (katsina) dolls, such as one of Palhik Mana, the Water-Sipping Maiden. Notable in the installation is a mural painting by Hopi artists Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie, which complements the ancient to contemporary objects drawn from the DMA’s collection. This exhibition marks the first time the Journey of the Human Spirit mural will be on view outside of Arizona and the Museum of Northern Arizona. It was curated by Kimberly L. Jones, curator of the arts of the Americas at the DMA.