This page is a record of an exhibit that took place
in 1998. The individual links below will take you to
the CURRENT VERSION of the pages
that formed part of that exhibit.
The "Animals in African Art" exhibition relects the importance
of animals in the lives and belief systems of traditional Africa. They were
recognized for their qualities of strength, speed, cunning, loyalty, nobility,
serenity and power. We have chosen to group together related or similar
pieces to facilitate comparisons and to create families or herds of sculptural
Many of the animal figures had protective functions. We have an exciting and varied group of Baga serpents that protected boys at intitiation camps and announced their return as men. Tall or short, straight or curvy, some with embellishing tacks, each has encrusted surfaces and a sentinel-like presence. Bakongo dog fetishes, like their human counterparts, were studded with metal slivers and nails, and embodied the strangely spiritual aspect of tribal art, gaining power and influence from those that believed in them.
From Cameroon come the massive wood elephant masks of the Bali people which are relatively naturalistic. The Bamileke make bushcow masks, many covered with beadwork, and much more abstract bead-on-cloth elephant headresses. Benin bronze leopards, symbols of royal authority, are present in a range of size and age, but all elegant and technically great examples of lost-wax casting.
Other groups to be included are Asante animal stools, Dogon hyena masks, Bamana animal puppets, Guro zamle masks, Mossi animal cap masks, Yoruba masks and bowls, Ejagham antelope headdresses and more.
We will be installing on Weds.and Thurs., August 19 and 20; feel free to stop by. To celebrate the new show and welcome you, we are having an Opening Party Sat. September 5, from 12-4. Coming next: "Art of the Dogon, Oct. 3 - Nov. 28, "Kuba Textiles", Dec. 3 - 23 and Jan. 2 - 30.