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Disney Epcot

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Disney epcot

Epcot: it's home to thrill rides, futuristic exhibits, exotic restaurants and dozens of unique shops and boutiques.

And now, the Disney theme park is adding another attraction to its list -- an art gallery. 

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Disney usaDisney535usa.jpg (57450 bytes)Art Is The Attraction
New Epcot Gallery Debuts With Noteworthy Tishman African Collection

Published Friday, September 17, 2004

By Rebecca Mahoney The Ledger

The American Heritage Gallery opened this month in the American Adventure pavilion, giving visitors a chance to experience a little culture between rides on Mission: SPACE and snacking on French crepes.

The gallery's inaugural exhibit, "Echoes of Africa," features 20 rare works from the Walt DisneyTishman African Art collection, which is widely considered one of the most significant collections of African art in private hands.

Ekoi head -Epcot - Disney Tishman collectionThis Ekoi headdress is from the Cross River region in southeast Nigeria or Cameroon, dating from the 19th or 20th century. picture by Disney co

The show, which will stay up about three years, also includes work by about a dozen contemporary artists.

"I think it's a very appropriate exhibit" to house in the American pavilion, said artist Mildred Howard, one of the contemporary artists who has pieces in the show. "I hope it helps dispel the mystery of `The Dark Continent.' "

Carvings, figurines, woven hair, headdresses and other artifacts are exhibited, including an exquisitely detailed ivory tusk from the court of Benin.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: "Echoes of Africa"

WHEN: Through 2007

WHERE: American Adventure pavilion in EPCOT, Walt Disney World

COST: Entrance to the gallery is free with park admission. A one-day ticket to Epcot costs $54.75 for adults and $43.75 for ages 3 to 9. Free for younger than 3.

PHONE: 407-939-4636 or www.disney.com 

One piece, an intricately carved figurine from the West Atlantic coast, has mythological roots. Some Africans carved such figurines when they had a problem, and, believing that problems had supernatural causes, filled the little statues with soil, herbs and other offerings.
Meanwhile, the contemporary works continue the story of African expression by bringing ancient African themes into modern work.

Just as African art influenced Picasso and Matisse, these artists are clearly influenced by their artistic ancestors. One example is artist Willie Cole's "Sport-500 TJI Wara," which uses red, blue and yellow bicycle parts to form a headdress of sorts. Exhibited side-by-side with a 19th century carved Antelope headdress from the Western Sudan, the two pieces are clearly similar in form and idea.

"If you're an artist, it's only natural that you'd incorporate elements of other artists into your work," said Lava Thomas, another contemporary artist with pieces in the show. "There are a lot of formal and conceptual relationships between African art and (contemporary) artists. . . . We've been making it part of our visual vocabulary for a long time."

Disney531usa Another powerful piece is Howard's "A Salute to Sojourner: Still Waters Run Deep." The assemblage includes a first edition of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," a wooden child's foot and an image of an alligator. The piece pays homage to 19th century slaves who escaped on the underground railroad.

The show is designed to introduce people to African art and culture, and curators clearly sought to make sure the show was accessible to everyone -- even those who have little or no knowledge of art.

Detailed captions and information panels accompany each piece, helping people understand the nuances and significance of each piece.

"I hope people say `Wow,' " said Dr. Lizzetta Lefalle-Collins, the curator for this exhibit. "I hope they want to see more (African art) and go back to visit museums at home."


The pieces in this show were amassed by private art collectors Paul and Ruth Tishman in the 1960s, with many acquired during visits to sub-Saharan Africa. Disney acquired the Tishman collection in 1984.

There are more than 500 pieces in the collection; other pieces are exhibited in museums around the world.

The new gallery is the sixth exhibit hall in the World Showcase in Epcot. Other galleries are located in the China, Japan, Morocco, Norway and Mexico pavilions. All six galleries showcase museum-quality pieces of original art.

read also Walt Disney , Tishman , Tishman Treasures

by Rebecca Mahoney  found at www.theledger.com/

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The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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