New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exceptional works of African and Oceanic sculpture from Geneva’s Barbier-Mueller Museum go stateside as part of the Met’s summer program. Founded in the 1920s by Josef Mueller, a pioneering collector or modern and non-Western art, the Barbier-Mueller Museum is one of Europe’s preeminent private collections of non-Western art. More than 35 works, many of which will make their US debut, exemplify the traditions and creativity of two regions that have had a profound influence in art.

Twenty-one works from Western, Central and Eastern Africa highlight the continent’s wealth of creativity, including a fired clay female head that pays tribute to the art of portraiture developed by sculptors between the 11th and 15th century in the ancient city of Ife (now known as southwestern Nigeria) and a series of masks created by a Congolese Teke master. It is possible to see their influence, particularly in the work of the French Fauvist painter, André Derain.

Decorative art from Polynesia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia exemplifies the rich artistry of the Pacific region. A carved portrait of a Batak chief which served as a talisman and rare wood sculptures from Easter Island, once belonging to sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein, are particularly noteworthy pieces.

June 2 through September 27, 2009
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
New York, NY 10028
T. 212 535 7710