Wednesday, May 07, 2014


Saw the Matisse show at the Minneapolis Art Institute -- very lovely, though too crowded in the manner of special exhibits. I bought the catalog, so I could look at the art again. His drawings are terrific. So are his paintings and his paper cutouts. My friend and I then wandered through the Native American and African galleries.

The African galleries are a new installation and quite wonderful. The art goes from ancient Egypt to contemporary art by African and African-American artists. There was a huge turquoise necklace from ancient Egypt in a case with gold work from Ghana, a mummy case near a coffin in the shape of a huge crayfish by a contemporary African artist. A row of display cases held Jewish and Islamic art from North Africa, Christian art from Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Kongo (which became Christian in the late 15th century), a page from the Koran from Mali... In the old days, the North African art would have been put with Islamic art and the Egyptian art would have been put with Greek and Roman art. Much of the Sub Saharan art would have been in a gallery called 'Primitive Art' or maybe 'African Art,' as if the other work had not been done in Africa.


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