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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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hats off to Budd !

hats off. Grassfields, Cameroon

the Indiana University Art Museum 
400 E. 7th Street. Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: (812) 855-6494

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Grassfields, Cameroon
Prestige Hat20th century
Cotton, wood
Diam. 7 ¾ in.
Gift of Budd Stalnaker in honor of William and Diane Itter, 2004.27

A rich variety of forms, materials, and colors characterize hats from the Grassfields of Cameroon. Traditionally they were designed for both everyday and ceremonial occasions, as an adult male was expected to have his head covered whenever he appeared in public. On this example, bright colors and many small projections, each of which has a small piece of wood at its center, are combined to make a lively composition. The projections are believed to derive from tufted hairstyles and also create a visual effect similar to feathers and quills which ornament other hats in this area.

This hat is included in the special exhibition,
Hats Off to Budd!
Special Exhibitions Gallery,
Hexagon Gallery, first floor
September 30–December 17, 2006

Budd Stalnaker—textile artist, longtime faculty member in the Hope School of Fine Arts, and friend of the IU Art Museum—died last May. His gifts of African art, most recently in the form of his collection of more than seventy African hats, are an enduring legacy to the Art Museum. A selection of the hats will be on display in this Hexagon Gallery show, along with examples of Budd’s own creative work. Support for this exhibition has been provided by the Class of 1949 Endowment for the Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.

Art Museum features tribute gallery for former professor
by Lindsey Landis
Indiana Daily Student found at idsnews.com

Published Thursday, September 28, 2006

Budd Stalnaker was an artist, a faculty member in the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts and a collector. Stalnaker died in May of this year, and the IU Art Museum is honoring his passion and life's work with a special exhibition that will open Saturday and run through Dec. 17.

Support for the exhibition -- titled "Hats off to Budd!" -- will be provided by the Class of 1949 Endowment for the Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas. Pelrine is the curator of that gallery.

"He was a good friend to the museum. He was always telling us about exhibitions and about donors. This is a gesture of respect and gratitude for what he has done," IU Art Museum curator Pelrine said of Stalnaker's contributions to the museum.

The Hexagon Gallery on the ground floor of the museum will be filled with gifts from Stalnaker's personal collection of African art, which includes almost 80 hats that exemplify the knotless netting technique. Stalnaker was particularly interested in this method because it is a time-consuming process resulting in a design that prevents unraveling, even if the hat sustains some damage in the process, according to a press release. In addition to the hats, Stalnaker collected pieces of kente, a fabric native to Ghana that is made of colorful woven cloth strips, which he also donated to the museum.

An artist himself, Stalnaker began teaching textiles at IU in 1964, according to a press release. His tapestry weaving works will be on display in "Hats off to Budd!" A press release from the IU Art Museum said his "ladder series" will be featured and described it as "a long-term exploration of variations on abstract ladders as a metaphor for climbing, growth and passage."

Two gallery talks will be given in conjunction with the exhibition. Patrick McNaughton, the Chancellor's Professor of African Art History, will be speak at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11. The lecture, titled "Living with Fine Design," will be about contextual information and artistry of Stalnaker's African collection.

William Itter, a faculty colleague and fellow collector of Stalnaker, will host a talk and reception at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12, titled "Between Art and Craft."

© 2006 Indiana Daily Student

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