On View
Aug 26, 2003–Oct 26, 2003

Exhibition and related programming supported in part by Illinois Arts Council; Krannert Art Museum Council; and Hampton Inn.

Traditional African masks and sculptures were created for a multitude of purposes. Today, the original context of these artworks has all but disappeared. In Remnants of Ritual: Selections from the Gelbard Collection of African Art visitors were presented with the astonishing physical presence of the rites and festivals which once bridged everyday life and mythical time for so many distinct African peoples.

The Gelbard brothers have assembled a magnificent collection of 100 works in wood and metal including a rare brass Temne, Karfi masks, Akan gold regalia, a Royal Benin Kingdom ivory figure, a Sango ritual mortar attributed to Olowe of Ise, an Azande harp, and a life-size Yao figure from Malawi. Each piece was photographed and fully documented in a color catalog.

Exhibition programming

September 10
5:30 pm: Traditional Processional
A ceremonial opening for the exhibition featuring the local Adidzo Drum Club playing Ghanaian Dagbamba music, with a brief dedication by Agbenyega Adedze, assistant professor of History at Illinois State University.

September 10
1 pm: Gallery Conversation
"Legacy of Power and Form," a moderated discussion featuring Arhus P. Bourgeois and Scott Rodolitz, authors of the exhibition catalogue

October 12
1 pm: Second Sunday Gallery Tour
Guided tour of the exhibition led by exhibition curator Michael Conner

Curator: Michael Conner