New Orleans -Loyola has received the life work of Frere Joseph-Aurélien Cornet, one of the foremost experts on the art of the Congo. Cornet studied indigenous art, music, and ethnography in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Included in the archives are as many as 150 field notebooks and 20,000 photographs. Cornet's work is considered on of the most important African visual archives in the world. Members of the African Studies Association, which will meet in New Orleans Nov. 11-14, 2004, may visit Loyola to view the archives.
Cornet’s work will be housed in the new Visual Arts Center and Gallery located on the fourth floor of the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library
Cornet’s important scholarship is primarily field work, historical in nature and impossible to replicate.
The collection is as important to Congolese art as the Fagg Collection at the British Museum is to Nigerian art and Gebauer Collection at the Met and Smithsonian is to Cameroonian art.
Cornet chose Loyola as the recipient both because of New Orleans’ distinctive heritage as an African city and because he felt that this visual archive would be a great compliment to Tulane’s Amistad’s Center Literary Archive and the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Collection of African Art.
Cornet’s archives are a definitive addition to the Loyola Collection, the university’s permanent collection of art.
The Loyola Collection, guided by Charles Davis of the Davis Gallery, seeks to emphasize the art scholarship of members of religious orders who were in many cases the first art historians in both the developed and the developing world.
This week Loyola received the first group of field notebooks from Cornet. Cornet’s work will be housed in the new Visual Arts Center and Gallery located on the fourth floor of the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library which is currently under construction. Funding for the Visual Arts Center and Gallery has provided by the Ella West Freeman Foundation, the J. Aron Foundation and the Zemurray Foundation.
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