african masksNeuberger-New-York
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A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden

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Neuberger NY Museum of Art Exhibition "Object & Intellect: African Art from the Permanent Collection"

 Neuberger Museum of Art
Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase NY 10577
Phone Number for Tickets: (914) 251-6100


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Neuberger african artTemporary exhibition: Benin bronzes

cover of "A Personal Journey:  Central African Art from the Lawrence Gussman Collection." 

The Neuberger Museum of Art combines the scale, collection and prestige of a city museum with the intimacy of its country setting. 

In its Philip Johnson designed building, the Museum houses more than 6,000 20th century American and European works of art, a select collection of works from antiquity, and the county's only permanent collection of African art. 

It is one of Westchester County's finest cultural resources.

Westchester County's only permanent exhibition of African art, Object and Intellect features 19th and 20th century works reflecting African traditions, rites and religious beliefs of West Africa.

It includes masks, carvings, sculpture and other objects of ceremonial and daily use.

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found at  Apr17th, 2001

 Neuberger Museum of Art Board member Marc Ginzberg and his wife Denyse have donated a rare African knife and sheath to the Purchase, N.Y. museum. The work is attributed to an artist from the Bane, an ethnic subgroup of the Fang peoples in southern Cameroon and northern Gabon. The knife has a finely sculpted wood haft in the form of a head with inlaid bead eyes, a backswept coiffure with linear diagonal incisions, and metal neck rings. Below the head, the cylindrical part for the haft features incised designs in the shape of two hands on one side and an animal on the other. The exceptional craftsmanship and elaborate materials of the knife and sheath suggest a function more ceremonial that utilitarian. In its original context, the knife was likely used as an insignia of membership in a local professional association. Ceremonial knives from this area may also function in a funerary context, serving as a grave marker upon the death of its owner. Works attributed to the Bane are rarely seen in museum collections, and this particular work complements the Neuberger Museum of Art's already strong collection of central African art. The Bane knife and sheath will be displayed in July at part of the reinstallation of the museum's permanent collection of African art.

Benin bronzes

The Power of Bronze: Royal Sculpture of the Court of Benin

The Power of Bronze: Royal Sculpture from the Kingdom of Benin
November 21, 2004 - February 13, 2005

The Neuberger Museum of Art is initiating a series of focused, innovative African exhibitions that will highlight one or several major works. This exhibition features a few outstanding examples from an area not found in the Neuberger Museum's collection and brings together approximately ten extraordinary objects cast in copper alloys dating from the 16th to the 18th century. Displayed for the first time as a visually provocative ensemble, these sculptures demonstrate the astonishing achievements of Benin brass casting created for the royal ancestral altars.

A fully illustrated brochure that situates these objects in their social and political context and address new scholarship and attribution in the field of Benin Art accompanied the exhibition.

Curated by Marie-Thérèse Brincard, Neuberger Museum of Art Curatorial Advisor of the African Collection. This exhibition and its catalogue is dedicated to the memory of Lawrence Gussman. It has been funded, in part, through the generosity of an Anonymous donor; Dr. Syndey and Bernice Clyman; Alan and Monah Gettner, Gilbert and Doreen Bassin, The Westchester Arts Council with funds from Westchester County Government, and the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Neuberger Museum of Art Presents The Power of Bronze

Plaque: Warrior Chief, Warriors and Attendants, Edo peoples, Kingdom of Benin, Nigeria, 16th – 17th century, brass, H. 16 ¾ in.


PURCHASE, N.Y.- The Power of Bronze: Royal Sculpture from the Kingdom of Benin, an innovative and focused exhibition featuring ten powerful copper-alloy sculptures from Benin, part of present-day Nigeria, is on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art through February 13, 2005. The visually provocative ensemble demonstrates the astonishing achievements of Benin brass casting created between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries primarily for the royal ancestral altars. “In bringing together these objects from a rich artistic tradition, the Neuberger affirms its commitment to provide the public with a dynamic center for the understanding and appreciation of African art,” notes Marie-Thérèse Brincard, Curatorial Advisor for the African Collection at the Neuberger Museum of Art and curator of the exhibition.

The art of the Kingdom of Benin stands alone on the African continent. As early as the late fifteenth century, travelers to West Africa remarked on the lavishness of the Court of Benin whose ritual objects made of ivory and bronze were created to establish the king’s divine and political authority. It was only in 1897, however, when the British military sacked Benin City and confiscated over thousands of objects, that the art of Benin became known to Western viewers through European museums and collections. The works were recognized immediately for their unequaled artistic achievement in Africa and have been exhibited widely.

Unlike any exhibition to date, The Power of Bronze takes as its point of departure a single sixteenth-seventeenth century plaque depicting a chief warrior, or Oba (king), flanked by attendants and musicians. Ten additional sculptures radiate from the plaque, serving as emblems of leadership, regalia, life, and court rituals, some of which are also illustrated as detail on the plaque. Linking the objects to the plaque is a rare figure of an Oba with a twisted loop extending from his crown. The Oba, believed to be a divine ruler, controls the life and death of his subjects and legitimizes his power symbolically through the permanence of brass. A bronze figure from Ife, the sacred city of the Yoruba, about 100 miles southwest from Benin, connects the exhibition with the place in which bronze casting is believed to have originated.

The twelve sculptures on display in The Power of Bronze are drawn from major public and private collections including the Albright Knox-Art Gallery (Buffalo); the Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn); The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City); the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology (Philadelphia); Denyse and Marc Ginzberg; Drs. Marian and Daniel Malcolm; Laura and James J. Ross and two anonymous lenders. Though Benin objects are the most sought after for exhibitions, a commemorative head of a king from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and a figure of a queen mother from the collection of Drs. Marian and Daniel Malcolm are displayed for the first time.

The exhibition is curated by Marie-Thérèse Brincard, Neuberger Museum of Art Curatorial Advisor for the African Collection. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, including essays by Dr. Barbara Winston Blackmun, University of California, San Diego and Dr. Stefan Eisenhofer, Völkerkunde Museum, Munich. The exhibition and catalogue are dedicated to the memory of Lawrence Gussman, a great collector of African art and supporter of the Neuberger Museum of Art.


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The Tribal Arts of Africa

The Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart

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