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Polk Museum Acquires Dozens Of Pieces of African Art

Sangoma Zulu headdress-Polk-MuseumMICHAEL WILSON/THE LEDGER
This beaded "Sangoma's Headdress" is from the Zulu culture in South Africa. It's one of the pieces in the Polk Museum of Art's exhibit "Beaded Beauty: Art Objects from Southern Africa.

"Beaded Beauty: Art Objects from Southern Africa"

WHERE: 

Polk Museum of Art, 800 E. Palmetto St., Lakeland, Florida. USA

PHONE: 863-688-7743

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Published Monday, December 8, 2003 found at: rebecca.mahoney*theledger.com

SHOWCASING A CONTENT'S BEAUTY

Visitors to the Polk Museum of Art can now experience the beauty of African artwork, thanks to a gift from a Winter Haven couple.

Norma and William Roth recently gave the museum more than 50 pieces of African art, including authentic hats and capes, bags and vessels. The contribution marks the first significant expansion to the museum's collection in about 15 years.

"It's safe to say that most people haven't seen art like this before," said Todd Behrens, the museum's curator of art. "It's going to have a significant impact in terms of education."
The collection includes 57 pieces from South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, many of them beaded. It will be on display at the museum through Jan. 25, and museum workers hope to create a permanent display area on the building's second floor in the near future, Behrens said.

While the museum has acquired new pieces every year -- most notably a bench by renowned sculptor Albert Paley and a Miriam Schapiro painting -- this collection is so vast it allows the museum to branch out in a completely new direction, Behrens said.

The museum has long focused on its collections of pre-Colombian, contemporary, Asian and European decorative arts, and this contribution allows the museum to broaden its scope in a fifth direction, he said.

The Roths are well-known art collectors, and have donated pieces from their collection to museums all over the East Coast. They've given more than 200 pieces to the Polk Museum alone, Behrens said.

Norma Roth said she and her husband donated the African pieces because they wanted to expose people to an art form they may not have seen before.

"I felt African art is an area this community has totally overlooked," she said. "We have a very large African-American population (in Polk County), and it occurred to me that this was a way of making a connection with a very vital and important part of our community."

She said she hoped the museum would encourage schools to take advantage of the collection.

The artworks are primarily functional pieces -- items made mostly by women and worn and used by their owners. They aren't meant to be only decorative, but they are beautiful, Roth said.

"They come from a heritage that is long, that is traditional," Roth said. "They come from an authenticity of experience."

Other pieces in the collection include wedding capes, blankets, aprons, beaded animal horns and leather bags.

"This collection gives the community a foot out into the world of experience and cultural understanding," said Daniel Stetson, the museum's executive director. "These are beautiful pieces. They add a significant diversity to what we were able to present prior to this."
December 08. 2003 8:07AM
Rebecca Mahoney can be reached at 863-802-7548 or rebecca.mahoney*theledger.com.

found at:  www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20031208/NEWS/312080302/1021

read also about South African art:  

The Ndebele people of Zimbabwe  

South Africa  

No Golden Rules

 

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African art books

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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