The Museum celebrated a new collection and a new era in collecting with a series of events held between Thursday, October 23 and Sunday, October 26. The many participants over the three-day event were given a sense of the importance of the African acquisitions that are new to both the Museum and to the community.
On Thursday evening the Museum hosted a lecture by Professor Robin Poynor, a member of the faculty in the School of Art and Art History at the University of Florida. Professor Poynor discussed the roles played by these newly acquired objects of African art in the lives of those who lived in traditional African societies. He showed many of the Museum’s woodcarvings, weavings, ceramics, and metal objects in the context of their use through photography depicting homes, communities, and public performances. For the past year, Professor Poynor has served as the Museum’s consulting curator to select works of art for the collection, and to provide information and scholarship relative to their acquisition. He worked closely with the donors and with the Museum staff to create the exhibition Art for Life’s Sake: An African Collection for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
The weekend events also included a Friday lunchtime presentation for the Museum’s Collectors Society that featured the collector and donor of the African art acquired as a gift by the Museum—Dileep Mehta of Atlanta, Georgia. As a professor of finance, Dr. Mehta traveled extensively, and worked over a period of many years to build his collection of African materials. On Sunday, the Museum hosted a combination Family Day for African Art, a Jazz Jams featuring the Jazz students in the program at BTW, as well as a performance by the BTW Dance Theater, Out of Africa. There were hands-on activities in the studios, artist’s demonstrations, and tours of the new African collection for the public.
This exciting weekend of programs caps off a season of exploration for our staff, docents, and public as we learned more about the wonderful objects that have now found a home in Montgomery. We look forward to sharing them often with our audiences.
Margaret Lynne Ausfeld
Curator of Art
View highlights of the African Family Day here https://www.youtube.com/watch?