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Neuberger Dogon

Neuberger shows important Dogon carving Piece will become part of museum's African Art collection

Displayed amidst several striking photographs taken in the 1970s by well-known photographer Eliot Elisafon, the shutter is set in the architectural context of a Dogon village, in which the granary is the most important building. 

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Elaborately carved, the Dogon shutter portrays eight elongated figures with breast-like protuberances, hands, legs, and featureless faces. According to Marie-Therese Brincard, Curatorial Advisor, African Collection at the Neuberger Museum of Art, the figures might represent Dogon ancestors.

Neuberger DogonRECENT ACQUISITION:
DOGON SHUTTER
 This wood shutter from the Dogon peoples of Mali is on special view at the Neuberger Museum of Art. 
19th-20th century, wood, 31 x 17 inches
Collection Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York
Gift of Denyse and Marc Ginzberg

  Thanks to the generosity of Denyse and Marc Ginzberg, the Neuberger Museum of Art received a rare sculpted shutter from the Dogon peoples of Mali in West Africa.
Displayed amidst several striking photographs taken in the 1970s by well-known photographer Eliot Elisofon, the shutter is set in the architectural context of a Dogon village, in which the granary is the most important building. Elaborately carved, the Dogon shutter portrays eight elongated figures with breast-like protuberances, hands, legs, and featureless faces. According to Marie-Thérèse Brincard, Curatorial Advisor, African Collection at the Neuberger Museum of Art, the figures might represent Dogon ancestors.
"However, the lizard refers to a Dogon myth in which a primordial being was transformed into a crocodile. As an animal associated with water, fertility and order, the lizard's representation on the shutter endows the granary with a potent symbol of life," she says. This Dogon shutter is rare, one of only five known examples on the same theme.
Defense, survival, and fruits of the harvest are reflected both in the great number of Dogon granaries and by their characteristic structure. Square or round in shape, these storehouses present blind walls to the plain, but their doors and shutters, with or without locks, face the village. Often huddled against one another to restrict access, these thatched, mud-brick storehouses may rest on four large stones, supporting floor beams, to raise them above the ground. The elaborate carving on this shutter indicates, too, the importance of the granary's owner, the Hogon, the political and religious leader of the Dogon village. Greenwich Time .  Greenwich, Conn.: Mar 6, 2006  pg. B.8

Section:The Arts

Publication title:Greenwich Time. Greenwich, Conn.: Mar 6, 2006.  pg. B.8 ISSN/ISBN:02795213

(2006 Southern Connecticut Newspaper Inc)

Neuberger shows important Dogon carving

Piece will become part of museum's African Art collection

A small, finely carved granary shutter, from the Dogon peoples of Mali in West Africa, is on special view at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College. It is the most important and recent gift to the Museum's African Art collection from Denyse and Marc Ginzberg of Rye, New York. The shutter is the first sculpture from the Dogon peoples to enter the Museum's collection, which focuses primarily on the art of Central Africa.

Displayed amidst several striking photographs taken in the 1970s by well-known photographer Eliot Elisafon, the shutter is set in the architectural context of a Dogon village, in which the granary is the most important building. Elaborately carved, the Dogon shutter portrays eight elongated figures with breast-like protuberances, hands, legs, and featureless faces. According to Marie-Therese Brincard, Curatorial Advisor, African Collection at the Neuberger Museum of Art, the figures might represent Dogon ancestors.

"However, the lizard refers to a Dogon myth in which a primordial being was transformed into a crocodile. As an animal associated with water, fertility and order, the lizard's representation on the shutter endows the granary with a potent symbol of life," she says.

This Dogon shutter is rare, one of only five known examples on the same theme.

Defense, survival, and fruits of the harvest are reflected both in the great number of Dogon granaries and by their characteristic structure. Square or round in shape, these storehouses present blind walls to the plain, but their doors and shutters, with or without locks, face the village. Often huddled against one another to restrict access, these thatched, mud-brick storehouses may rest on four large stones, supporting floor beams, to raise them above the ground. The elaborate carving on this shutter indicates, too, the importance of the granary's owner, the Hogon, the political and religious leader of the Dogon village.

The Dogon shutter will be on view through April 9, 2006 then included in the permanent collection.

Credit: GT features staff