A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
The Birmingham Museum of Art Announces Long-Term Loan
found at Artdaily, June 27,2005
BIRMINGHAM.- The Birmingham Museum of Art is pleased to announce that the Bareiss family of Greenwich, Connecticut is placing its stunning collection of African art on long-term loan at the Museum. The collection of more than three hundred objects is comprised primarily of work from central, eastern, and southern Africa dating from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. To celebrate the loan, the museum has organized an exhibition titled Highlights from The Walter and Molly Bareiss Collection of African Art featuring 35 works from the collection, which will be installed in the Jemison Gallery from June 19th to July 31st. 2005
Among the powerfully expressive objects in the exhibition are marionettes
(nearly seven feet tall), ancestor figures, initiation masks, divination
objects, thrones, and staffs. The objects come from many countries, including
the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Angola, Malawi, and Tanzania.
Out of Africa
Museum receives rare African exhibit
By LEIGH ANNE MONITOR BIRMINGHAM POST-HERALD
Kings and queens were lavished with them.
Sick people turned their hope to them.
People used them for religious devotion, too.
These are the objects of Africa. Many of these objects/art works are coming to Birmingham for a long time.
The Birmingham Museum of Art received an African art collection from the Bareiss family of Greenwich, Conn., on long-term loan.
The collection includes more than 300 objects, mainly from central, eastern and southern Africa from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.
Viewers can learn of the genius of African creativity from seeing the objects, museum officials said.
"The oddity is that eastern Africa, with regards to scholarship, has been considered uninteresting with regards to art because it was thought that there wasn't any," said Allen F. Roberts, director of the James S. Coleman African Studies Center at the University of California — Los Angeles. "(Walter Bareiss) put together material that no one in the study of African art had ever seen before. It was just a great revelation to learn that there is this material and it had been there for a long time.
"It hadn't been noticed," Roberts said.
Art officials consider it to be a rare collection.
"The fact that the family focused on collecting art from central, east and south Africa is unusual," said Emily Hanna, the museum's curator of arts of Africa and the Americas.
Some of the objects are difficult to find in U.S. and European museum collections, Hanna said.
"Because our permanent collection focuses mainly on west African art, this collection perfectly complements our own, and allows us to tell a more complete story about Africa.
"There is no other collection like it in the Southeast," Hanna said.
Visitors can see works of art of extraordinary quality and visual impact, said Gail Trechsel, the R. Hugh Daniel director of the museum.
To celebrate the loan, the museum has organized an exhibition of 35 works, "Highlights from the Walter and Molly Bareiss Collection of African Art." The collection opens Sunday.
Several pieces feature carvings such as faces in wood, a dominant material in African art.
The collection comes with a surprise — it was offered from a private collector to museum officials to care for it, Trechsel said.
The Bareiss family contacted the museum, a connection made with the help of David Moos, former curator of contemporary art at the museum.
Moos is a friend of an advisor who works with the Bareiss family and introduced the family to the museum. Hugh Bareiss, one of the sons, visited Birmingham and was impressed with the museum and the city, Hanna said.
"It was important to them to find a museum that valued African art, and also had a full-time curator whose specialty was African art," Hanna said.
Walter and Molly Bareiss are in fragile health. Walter Bareiss, in his 80s, first became interested in African art in 1948. Rene D'Arnoncourt, then director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, asked Bareiss to attend an auction to purchase African art on behalf of the museum. Bareiss went on to study African art for the next 20 years. He and his wife began collecting in the 1970s and continued until the 1990s. The collection has been exhibited in the United States and Europe.
In later years, Walter Bareiss served as interim director of the Museum of Modern Art.
Trechsel has called the collection's works "sometimes a challenge for Western eyes," but a challenge that with introspection brings viewers closer to understanding the works.
With such consideration, "they will probably see the connections between African and American communities rather than differences," Hanna said.
Discover the African Art books I like or join me on facebook
African Antiques is the archive and not growing much anymore but still updated.
Visit African Art to join our free newsletter and read recent African Art News.
For the last news about Birmingham museum you should join our African Art Club and become an insider of the African art market.
And if you are a collector of African Art, have a look at our exclusive African Art Collection for sale.
Tribal Arts of Africa
read also :
mail David Norden phone +32 3 227.35.40