Songye Surrealism: A Rediscovered Neckrest
Fusing the aesthetics of two iconic Congolese styles, Luba and Songye, this jewel-like sculpture features a surreal, headless caryatid. It protected a sleeping person on their nightly journey through the world of dreams and spirits, and was only ‘complete’ when the head of the sleeper rested upon it. This recently-rediscovered neckrest was acquired by the American engineer William D. McMillan in the Congo in the 1920s.
Pre-Columbian Gold From an Important European Collection
African Art from the Collection of Dr. Austin Newton, Princeton, New Jersey
Dr. Austin Newton was a distinguished scientist and a respected professor who spent his entire career at Princeton University. He first discovered African Art in the 1960s while conducting research at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and over the next 50 years built a distinctly personal collection of African Art with particular strengths in Mali and Cameroon, buying from dealers in Paris and New York including Charles Ratton, Rene Rasmussen, Hélène Leloup (then Hélène Kamer) and John J. Klejman.
Olmec and Preclassic Art from an Important Private Collection
The Olmec and Preclassic sculptures presented here are from one of the great American private collections of the genre. Consisting mostly of small-scale figures and objects, the collection was featured in the major exhibition Olmec World, Ritual and Rulership, shown at The Art Museum of Princeton University, and at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 1995-1996. Included are objects of status, naturalistic figures, and sculptures revealing the transformation of humans into animal spirits.