This page is a record of an exhibit that took place
in 1995. The individual links below will take you to
the CURRENT VERSION of the pages
that formed part of that exhibit.
Hamill Gallery of African Art is showing "Doors and Stools",
an exhibit of traditional utilitarian objects from many diverse African
peoples. Created with qualities usually reserved for sculpture of ritual
or religious importance, the pieces show careful execution, and an impressive
range of styles, all worthy of critical appreciation.
The doors, for granaries and houses, are usually embellished with figuration and sacred images that communicate symbolic messages, invoking spirits or deities for protection and making the door sacrosanct. The focus is on an exceptional collection of Dogon doors, large and small, complex and plain, some weathered by the elements and use, many with their original doorlocks. Other doors include Mossi, Senufo, Ishan and Bamana work plus Ishan and Yoruba fragmentary pieces.
The stools range from everyday objects with monumental, simple forms to ornate pieces bringing status to the owner and connoting power, succession of chiefs or kings, and the honoring of ancestors. At the plain, often beautifully aged end fall a wide variety of Senufo, Lobi and Moba stools. More decorated are the intricate and multi-legged Nupe and the well-known Ashanti ceremonial stool/thrones. Caryatid figures, supporting the sitter literally as well as figuratively, enhance the many Luba, Dogon, Songye, Yoruba and Ishan examples. Complex, interlocking designs and royal animals adorn Cameroon stools including two large beaded royal prestige stools from the Bamileke. A beautiful, overwhelming exhibit not to be missed!