Back from Berlin

Makonde mask Berlin Ethnographic Museum storage

I hope you all had a good Easter / Pesach / Holiday – I spend mine in Berlin, hence the lack of blog posts these last few days. My personal highlight was the Ethnological Museum. It will close in two years (and reopen in 2019 at a new location on the ‘museum island’ in Berlin’s city centre), so don’t postpone your visit if you haven’t been there. The selection of art from the Benin Kingdom is incredible and alone worth the trip – I was happy to learn the new museum will show even more objects. Furthermore, there’s a strong group of Congo material, some important Gabonese objects and a huge amount of art from Cameroon – all of these being collected more than 100 years ago. It is an amazing experience to see all these icons of African art in reality. Additionally, at the moment there’s a small exhibition about ‘object biographies’, curated by Margareta von Oswald and Verena Rodatus, including a stool from the ‘Buli workshop’, a group of Fon figures and the famous throne figures from Kom (info). After spending the day in awe in the museum, I realized I forgot to take some installation photos, but below a couple of snapshots. I can’t wait to go back, although I’ll definitely skip the museum’s restaurant next time  – the bookshop, on the other hand, was very good.

Benin figure Berlin ethnologisches museum

Detail head Chokwe staff Angola

detail Chokwe staff Angola Berlin

Bruno Claessens Bangwa stools thrones Berlin

Museum News

Walk around Musée du quai Branly with Google StreetView

google streetview quai branly museum oceanic art

Thanks to Google’s StreetView technology & the Google Cultural Institute, you can now walk around the Musée du quai Branly at home. Discover the presentation of their collection of arts of Oceania in a click here (Africa, Asia, and the Americas are not (yet?) available). More content, such as pictures and information on the Sacred Wood exhibition, are available here.

UPDATE: the Museum just informed me that the picture were taken late 2011 and some displays might have changed since.