A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
Muscarelle shows Animals
"Animals in African Art From the Collection of Wallace Gusler" opens at Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg; through May 29. www.wm.edu/muscarelle or (757) 221-2700.
in African Art from the
April 2–May 29, 2005
Animals in African Art focuses on works that have stylistic elements derived from animals. The largest group of objects are masks which were used to represent spirits. One example is a Bagta mask from Guinea which is massive—almost five feet long—and has human, crocodile, antelope, heron, snake, and chameleon features. In addition to masks, the exhibition also includes sculpture such as trumpets made from elephant tusks and a number of weapons. Many of the weapons incorporated ivory and were made for ceremonial or prestige purposes rather than for actual battle use. Ivory objects from Africa are almost always from royal families since ivory was controlled by the kings and was far too expensive for commoners. Objects in this exhibition span the continent of Africa from Guinea on the west coast across to Ethiopia and South to Zimbabwe on the east and Angola on the west. In all, fifteen countries are represented.
Gallery talk by Wallace Gusler Thursday, April 14 at 5:30 p.m.
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