african masksBarnes-Foundation-Pennsylvania
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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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The Barnes Foundation 
300, North Latch's Lane  
Merion, Pennsylvania 19066. 

Phone: 001 610-667-0290 mailto:Info* 

Picasso barnes foundation grantPablo Picasso, Head of a Woman, 1907 inspired by african art
The Barnes Foundation Grant

read also Permanent collection about a theatre play inspired by the Barnes foundation and a text about the Barnes Foundation

lisez aussi en Français: Fondation Barnes anti-Musée 

The Barnes Foundation has 200 African and 60 Native American works of art in the collection, but is mainly known as very good paintings Museum, tell me if you visited the collections. I would like to see the African art pieces images. This Museum can only be viewed by appointment and only 400 persons are allowed each day, so you must make an appointment well in advance.

David Norden

The Barnes at the Crossroads

By Edward J. Sozanski , Inquirer Columnist
April 20, 2003 

This is the african art related part, read the complete text at:

Start with the African sculpture, which literally greets visitors at the front door, in the form of tile reliefs that Albert Barnes himself designed. This sculpture resides in several second-floor galleries, mainly in glass-fronted cases. Most of the nearly 200 pieces are relatively small and they aren't individually labeled, which makes them difficult to engage.

Yet their powerfully innovative forms and historical significance are undeniable. Christa Clarke of the Newark Museum in New Jersey, one of the foundation's 34 curatorial consultants, explained that, while Barnes wasn't the first American to acquire African art, he was the first to develop a comprehensive collection of it.

"He also played a major role in introducing African art to the instigators of the Harlem Renaissance," she added.

Clarke said Barnes bought most of his African works from French dealer Paul Guillaume during the early 1920s. His reasons today seem unusually prescient. As Clarke explained:

"He saw in African art the ability to radically reshape human form in the interest of design. He felt that African sculpture was the highest form of sculpture that humans had created, the preeminent form of three-dimensionality."

The nearly 200 African works generally come from four present-day African countries, Clarke said - Mali, Ivory Coast, Congo and Gabon. "He felt that those areas produced the strongest sculpture."

The crowning glory is a seated couple, a man tenderly embracing a woman, from the Dogon culture of Mali; it's in a free-standing case in gallery 22.

"That's a really significant work, a beautifully executed, arresting visual form. It has become a kind of icon of African art generally," Clarke said.

A 16th-century bronze messenger figure from Benin and a carved wooden door from the Baule culture, both on the second-floor balcony, are other major pieces. Clarke observed that while African art constitutes a relatively small part of the overall collection, African motifs on the building demonstrate how central it was to Barnes' thinking.

Besides the colorful tiles at the entrance, these include African designs in the window grills and in the frieze that runs around the central, first-floor gallery's walls. The African collection represents something else in the collector's philosophy: an interest in how non-Western cultures resolved design problems, especially those involving abstraction.

Like the African sculpture, the Indian pueblo pottery, from a half-dozen villages in the Southwestern United States, handles abstraction with noticeable energy and sensitivity, and in the round.

It's a small collection - only about 60 items - but, according to consultant Edwin Wade, it contains some masterpieces.

read the whole text with more explanations on the Barnes American Indian things and the paintings

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Barnes foundation grant 

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The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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