ME: Portland

Mark H.C“Audiences will be challenged, engaged, and inspired by the great Tanzanian cultural objects in Shangaa,” said PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire. “For the first time in the United States, the great artistic traditions of Tanzania will be brought together to expand our knowledge of East Africa. the Portland Museum of Art is very proud to bring this crucial scholarly exploration of Tanzania to our community and museum members. I am also proud to be an advisor on this scholarly project as we follow our vision to present progressive exhibitions beyond our collection that address local and global issues.”

Sukuma, Tanzania. Thumb piano, undated, wood, metal, 11 x 17 inches. Collection of the QCC Gallery, the City University of New York.)

Sukuma, Tanzania. Thumb piano, undated, wood, metal, 11 x 17 inches. Collection of the QCC Gallery, the City University of New York.)

 

Shangaa: Art of Tanzania

BRIEF ABOUT:  Opening Saturday, June 8 and on view through August 25, 2013, this first exhibition of Tanzanian art in the United States, will feature 155 objects brings together stunning objects from private collections and major German museums that have rarely been seen outside of Africa or Europe.

Shambaa, Tanzania, Figure, n.d., wood, hide, 8.9 inches high, Private Collection, Belgium.

Shambaa, Tanzania, Figure, n.d., wood, hide, 8.9 inches high, Private Collection, Belgium.

     This exhibition will be on two floors of the PMA and will include videos showing the cultural objects used in dances and as part of other traditions. The objects range from masks and staffs to figural sculptures and thrones, demonstrating how Tanzanian cultures use art to channel energy to heal, embody authority, mark initiation into adulthood, address the spirits, and celebrate life and competition.    

     In Swahili, the root word shangaa means to surprise, dumbfound, and amaze, and viewers will certainly see that Tanzania is a significant source of inspiring art, which spans from the 19th century to the present day as well as recent works created by celebrated artists for contemporary events.

 Makonde, Tanzania Mask, foreigner, n.d. wood, pigment, 12 inches high, Private Collection, USA.

Makonde, Tanzania Mask, foreigner, n.d. wood, pigment, 12 inches high, Private Collection, USA.

   Curated by scholar of African art Dr. Gary van Wyk, the home of Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Lake Victoria and the Serengeti, Tanzania is a cultural crossroads in East Africa. It is a place where Arab, Indian, European, and American trade routes coincided centuries ago, and Muslim, Christian, and African traditions continue to intermix. At Lake Victoria, explorers reached the long-sought source of the Nile; and Mary Leakey and her team discovered the Laetoli Footprints at Oldupai Gorge. As van Wyk has observed, “Tanzania is a hotbed for prehistory…a veritable cradle of humanity.”

MORE DETAILS: Call 207.775-6148 or www.portlandmuseum.org.




Published by on March 2013. Filed under Archives, At the Museums dept, Maine, Palette News Arts Network/PNAN, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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