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

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Nelson-Atkins African Art Collection

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Scott Stuart sstuart @nelson-atkins.org Telephone : 816.561.4000 Address : 4525 Oak St. Kansas City. MO 64111-1873 USA

Nelson-Atkins Announces Bloch Building Opening 

Impressionism and photography exhibitions will be first in new space

The African collection comprises approximately 300 objects that are diverse in form and in media. Masks, sculptures, hair combs, headrests, textiles and vessels are among the many types of works represented; media include fiber, metal, wood, beads and clay.

While the African collection exemplifies formal beauty, it also represents the historical range of objects created by cultures south of the Sahara Desert. Most of the artworks were created by artists living in West and Central Africa, primarily the countries of Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Read more about the African Collection

The Nelson-Atkins’ collection of African art began in earnest in 1958 with the purchase of two 17th-century cast brass artworks from the Benin kingdom in Nigeria; a representation of a ruler’s head made to be placed on a shrine and a figurative plaque that originally adorned palace walls.

About 50 works in the collection are among the best examples of African art in the world. These include a royal Stool with embossed silver decorations from the Asante kingdom of Ghana; a superb Standing Male Figure calm in stature and arresting in presence made by a Hemba artist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; an impressive Royal Beaded Throne created by a Bansoa artist in the Bamileke kingdom of Cameroon; a Female Mask (Kifwebe), rare for its attached fiber costume made by Songye artists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; a stunning shrine figure carved by a Baga artist in Guinea; and a reliquary figure exceptional for its double face, relatively large size and three types of metal made by a Kota artist in Gabon.

The oldest work in the collection is a rare and stunning terra-cotta Horse and Rider made by an artist of the Djenne culture in Mali that dates from the 16th century. Conversely, the most recent work is a beautiful vessel with smooth contours and elegant lines created by the renowned Kenyan-born ceramicist Magdalene Odundo that dates from 1994.

The Museum boasts a small collection of art from East and South Africa, including an exquisite, life-like mask carved by a Yao artist from Tanzania and two sumptuously beaded capes created by Zulu artists in the country of South Africa.

The collection also includes a fine, diverse group of Kuba textiles produced by men and women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Friday, June 30, 2006
 

Nelson-Atkins Announces Bloch Building Opening Date

Posted Thursday, June 29, 2006 :found at infoZine 

Impressionism and photography exhibitions will be first in new space

Kansas City, Mo. - infoZine - The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art today announced Saturday, June 16, 2007 will be the opening date of the highly anticipated Bloch Building. Designed by architect Steven Holl, the public's first glimpse of the 165,000-square-foot expansion now is less than a year away.

Two landmark Kansas City collections will serve as the inaugural special exhibitions, including the personal impressionist collection of Marion and Henry Bloch, and early American photography from the Hallmark Photographic Collection, recently given to the Museum by Hallmark Cards Inc.

The expansion increases Museum space by 70 percent and houses new galleries for the Nelson-Atkins' renowned collections of contemporary art, African art and photography, plus a serene space devoted to the sculpture of Isamu Noguchi. Area devoted to special exhibitions in the Bloch Building will swell to 11,648 square feet; a 60-percent increase from the 7,290 formerly in the Nelson-Atkins. Bloch Building amenities include a stunning entry lobby, the Spencer Art Reference Library, a casual café and an enlarged Museum Store.

"We sought out the best in designing this building, from the concept as conceived by Steven Holl to the superior craftsmanship provided by companies from around the world," said Donald J. Hall, Chair of the Nelson-Atkins Architect Selection Committee. "The opening of the Bloch Building will mark the culmination of a journey that never wavered from bringing the best to Kansas City."

The Museum broke ground on April 2, 2001 for the multiphase expansion and renovation. Many elements of the project are open already and available to the public, including a new parking garage, renovated Kirkwood Hall, reinstalled European collection and the new Ford Learning Center.

This fall, the Nelson-Atkins will celebrate the completion of work in the Kansas City Sculpture Park and the end of Bloch Building construction with a four-day public and member celebration Sept. 28 through Oct. 1.

Built in response to an ambitious study to gauge the hopes and dreams of the community for the Nelson-Atkins, the Bloch Building opening will be the culmination of a process begun with an international juried competition in 1999.

The six-year-long construction process was complex, and presented formidable engineering challenges to realize architect Holl's novel vision. Running the length of a 67-story skyscraper laid on its side along the sloping eastern edge of the Museum's lush lawn, the airy Bloch Building presents a contemporary contrast to the neoclassical beauty of the Nelson-Atkins.

The two inaugural special exhibitions in the new Bloch Building will be:

Manet to Matisse: Impressionist Masters from the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection

This exhibition of 30 masterpieces of the highest quality celebrates the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection of impressionist paintings, assembled over a period of more than 20 years as the result of careful research and consultation with curators and conservators. Among the famed works are Manet's The Croquet Party, van Gogh's Restaurant Rispal at Asnières, Gauguin's The Willow and Cézanne's Man with a Pipe, as well as major works by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissarro, Morisot and Sisley. The collection also contains important modern paintings by Bonnard and Matisse. This exhibition is sponsored by the H&R Block Foundation.

Developing Greatness: The Origins of American Photography, 1839-1885

This large exhibition surveys the remarkable achievements from the birth of photography in 1839 to the rise of the amateur in the mid-1880s. From daguerreotypes to dry-plates, key artists, themes and works of early American photography illuminate the many facets of 19th-century American thought and culture. Many rare and previously unpublished and unseen works will be presented to the public for the first time. This exhibition is supported by the Hall Family Foundation.

Developing Greatness presents the definitive view of one of the nation's greatest holdings of early American photography. The show surveys a spectrum of American history, covering major themes such as the Civil War and the great Western landscape in particular depth. All major photographers of the period are represented, from Southworth & Hawes and Mathew Brady to Carleton Watkins and Timothy O'Sullivan, while notable personalities of the era also will be on view, with portraits of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Jenny Lind, Frederick Douglass and Tom Thumb.

In addition to these two marquee attractions organized by the Nelson-Atkins, a smaller installation of works by three leading Japanese contemporary artists will round out the schedule of opening special exhibitions. Trouble in Paradise: Japanese Contemporary Art will be on view in the Project Space, a flexible gallery in the new Contemporary Department of the Bloch Building.

Visitors from around the world are expected to come see the new Bloch Building , a landmark of contemporary architecture that designer Steven Holl considers his most important work to date. From the outside, the innovative building features five sculptural glass pavilions, or "lenses," that weave harmoniously into the surrounding landscape.

The glacier-white lenses admit natural light into the gallery space by day and glow enchantingly by night.

"The Nelson-Atkins is committed through its collections and programs to being a vital partner in the educational and cultural life of the community," said Marc F. Wilson, the Menefee D. and Louise Blackwell Director/CEO of the Museum. "Not only will the opening of the Bloch Building reinforce its stature as a pre-eminent institution, nationally and internationally; its arrival will enliven visitors and enable them to connect with art and view the Nelson-Atkins as a relevant resource in their lives."

The Generations capital campaign was launched in 1997 to support the goals of the Museum's strategic plan for the future and to ensure that the institution, so tied to the civic pride and historical generosity of the community, would continue to attract and engage the next generation of audiences. The combined expansion-and-renovation project capped at $200 million is the most visible public component. However, more than 900 donors pledged a total of $225.3 million to finance the campus transformation project and grow the permanent operating endowment, supporting enhanced exhibition, education and outreach offerings. Board leadership has been significant, with current and past trustees of the Museum contributing more than $192 million, accounting for 53 percent of money raised to date.

The Museum's Board of Trustees distinguished itself by offering leadership through generous personal giving, collections commitments and creation of initiatives that leveraged further support from other sources. Lead gifts for the project have come from Board Chairman Henry W. Bloch, Founder of H&R Block, and Board Trustee Donald J. Hall, Hallmark Cards Inc. Chairman. Together with Board Trustee Estelle Sosland, they spearheaded a $50 million Trustee Matching Grant initiative, in which the three pledged up to $50 million in combined matching funds to the institution's endowment. To date, they have matched more than $38 million in new gifts, securing a total of $78 million for the operating endowment, supporting the financial stability and continued growth of the institution.

The June 16, 2007 opening of the new Nelson-Atkins will begin at 10 a.m. with a ceremonial opening presided over by Chairman of the Museum Trustees Henry W. Bloch and his wife Marion, who lent their name to the new building. Member preview days will be June 14 and 15, 2007. Admission to view the Museum's art collections will remain free to all, in keeping with the Nelson-Atkins' commitment to public service and accessibility.


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The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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read also : Start ] Virtual Museum ] African-Americans SF ] Chicago-ceramics ] Newark Museum ] Cleveland arms ] de Young-SF ] Museum of fine arts Boston ] Brooklyn Museum ] New Orleans Museum ] Detroit Institute DIA ] SAMA Artistry ] Museum for African Art ] Barbier-Mueller ] Cleveland ] Dallas-Museum-of-Arts ] Indianapolis ] Columbia-Urhobo ] NMAA Art-Treasures ] Baltimore-museum ] Dapper postcolonial ] Fine-arts-Houston ] Menil-Houston-Texas ] Louvres-Islamic art ] Minneapolis ] Metropolitan ] Israel Museum Jerusalem ] Orlando-Museum ] Cincinnati art museum ] Philadelphia-Museum ] Polk-Museum-of-Art ] african culture Portland ] Smithsonian-Washington ] SMA fathers New Jersey ] Tervueren ] UMKC-Belger Arts ] Whitman-New-Jersey ] West-Valley-Arizona ] Kunstkamera-Petersburg ] Ethnology-Vienna ] Irma-Stern-Museum ] Appleton museum Ocala ] UCLA-Fowler ] Benin Museum ] Weltkulture ] DuSable Museum ] Cuba museum ] fineartshouston ] Bowers museum ] Museu Afro Brazil ] airport art ] [ Nelson Atkins ] Zora Neale ] branly museum ] Longyear museum ] Douglas society Denver ] Denver art museum ] Centre Black African Civilization ] charles wright ] Seattle Art Museum ] Samuel Dorsky ] High museum Atlanta ]

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