African and Oceanic Art from the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva
A Legacy of Collecting
June 2–September 27, 2009
The collections of African and Oceanic art in the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva, begun in the 1920s by Josef Mueller and continued by Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, represent the culmination of more than eight decades of wide-ranging collecting of works from both regions. Presenting more than thirty highlights from the Barbier-Mueller's holdings of African and Oceanic sculpture, most never before displayed in the United States, this exhibition explores a rich legacy of connoisseurship. The African works on view feature a select group of sculptures and masks from western, eastern, and central Africa. From miniature to monumental, made of wood, ivory, metal, and terracotta, the outstanding African works have been selected to illustrate both the creativity of the continent's artists and the discerning eye of the collectors. The Oceanic works comprise an array of rare and spectacular objects exemplifying the breadth of achievement by artists from across the Pacific. They include a striking group of figures, masks, and decorative art from Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Easter Island, and other areas.