african masksVirginia-University-Museum
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New Acquisition at the Virginia Museum of fine arts

A Lipiko mask from East Africa and nine other objects, acquired in a gift-purchase agreement with Robert and Nancy Nooter of Washington, who own one of this country's largest private collections of African art. The Nooters are expected to donate 25 more works to the Virginia Museum this year, said Richard Woodward, its African art curator.

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BY CLARKE BUSTARD  TIMES-DISPATCH  Jul 18, 2004

VUU's exhibit of African art 'a bridge to the community'

BY NICOLE MCMULLIN TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER  Saturday, March 20, 2004

From an ornately carved Chi Wara headdress from Mali, to a finely woven shield from Zaire, the new Virginia Union University Museum is reaching out to the community.

The museum's assembly of art from Africa and New Guinea represents the ceremonial, decorative and spiritual contributions of ancient cultures.

"They have a spirit," Judy Little, an associate professor of fine arts at Virginia Union, said of the carved, crafted and pigment-painted pieces. "Everyone is going to see something different."

Housed in three rooms inside the Wilder Library on the university's Lombardy Street campus, the museum hosted a gala opening on March 11 for alumni, friends, trustees and the Richmond art community.

The collection, made up mostly of African art from the 19th and 20th centuries, was donated by the Sellman and Kriegman families between 1990 and 1992, but it also features a number of pieces from New Guinea.

"I hope the museum's visitors take away an interest in African art and pursue more knowledge about the exhibit," Little said between discussing with patrons the collection's transition from a small room in White Hall to the new gallery space. "I hope they visit more museums and take an interest in Virginia Union.

"I hope they remember that we have something good."

Little, along with Husny Dahlan, an assistant art professor at VUU, and Barbara Grey, an alumna and adjunct member of the art faculty, prepared the pieces for their new setting.

"This has always been a dream of mine," said Grey, who has been connected with Union for more than 60 years. "A collection such as this is a bridge to the community."

Dahlan pointed visitors' attention to his favorite piece, a ceremonial mask that an African boy would wear during puberty. The mask, a composite of raffia and wood and intricately detailed with pigment, is worn to enlighten, entertain and "distract from everyday life" during the child's circumcision celebration.

Dahlan's knowledge of the collection and African art are equaled by his enthusiasm about the museum and the interest it inspires. He, along with Grey and Little, encourage interest not only from the Union family but also from local schools and the art community.

"Much of African art is derived from religion, social systems and values, therefore it is steeped in esoteric knowledge," said John Woodward, African art curator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. "These pieces have a special meaning to the people that created them."

Woodward encourages people to begin learning about African art by visiting local collections, keeping in mind that understanding requires learning.

"It's good to visit the exhibit and get a broad overview and a sense of the cultural landscape, then go and research for more information," he said.

Little has worked with the university's seed collection for more than a decade and says that there are enough rare pieces in storage to fill the museum's gallery space two more times.

The collection often travels to other schools, including Longwood University and the University of Virginia. She said she receives requests for the exhibit "all the time."

"We hope to get funding for expansion," Little said, noting that the school has discussed renovating the vacant former physical-plant building. "But we need to publicize, and we need to get it to the community."

Belinda Anderson, interim president at Virginia Union, hopes that students will visit the exhibit and take away a renewed interest in black culture.

"We want people to see this collection," Anderson said while admiring the Chi Wara headdress. "This is Virginia Union."

Anderson confirmed that the school has started inquiring about renovating the former physical plant for the museum's use but currently does not have a budget or time frame in place.

Alumna Rosemary Jones, a retired fourth-grade teacher, said the museum is an excellent outing for school groups.

"The more exposure school kids can get to art, the better off they are," she said. "This is absolutely fantastic.

"It takes me to a higher level."

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Contact Nicole McMullin at (804) 649-6513 or nmcmullin*timesdispatch.com

This story can also be found at: http://www.timesdispatch.com/

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In this section:
Start
Omhoog
Africa Monaco
Centers for African Study
Wake-Forest University
Malcolm Woods headstones
Virginia Museum of fine arts
Unfa-Utah
Cantor Arts-Stanford
carlosemory
Umfa-Utah
Seymour Lazar collectionneur et Art Africain
Harn Museum-florida
UMMA-collection
Haffenreffer-ethnographic
Kansan-Yoruba-Masquerade
Lowe-art-Miami
Neuberger
Queens-NY
Hofstra Museum NY
Texas-Southern-University
Washington Jefferson College
Frankfort-Indiana
Delaware
Hood Museum
Yale
Barton-Museum
Southern-University-Suma
Loyola-New-Orleans-University
Speed
Virginia-University-Museum
Chambers UCO-Edmond-OK
Brown University
Colgate university
spurlock illinois
Fowler UCLA
Sacramento state university
Kent state
Virginia Art Museum
Hofstra University Museum
Wabash college 

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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 ] Africa Monaco ] Centers for African Study ] Wake-Forest University ] Malcolm Woods headstones ] Virginia Museum of fine arts ] Unfa-Utah ] Cantor Arts-Stanford ] carlosemory ] Umfa-Utah ] Seymour Lazar collectionneur et Art Africain ] Harn Museum-florida ] UMMA-collection ] Haffenreffer-ethnographic ] Kansan-Yoruba-Masquerade ] Lowe-art-Miami ] Neuberger ] Queens-NY ] Hofstra Museum NY ] Texas-Southern-University ] Washington Jefferson College ] Frankfort-Indiana ] Delaware ] Hood Museum ] Yale ] Barton-Museum ] Southern-University-Suma ] Loyola-New-Orleans-University ] Speed ] [ Virginia-University-Museum ] Chambers UCO-Edmond-OK ] Brown University ] Colgate university ] spurlock illinois ] Fowler UCLA ] Sacramento state university ] Kent state ] Virginia Art Museum ] Hofstra University Museum ] Wabash college ]

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