Joined: Mar 24, 2002
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
|Posted: 2005-05-17 10:49 am  Permalink|
San Francisco's newly rebuilt De Young Museum opens this October. They just acquired a large collection of Oceanic artifacts to add to their already impressive holdings.
Article in today's SF Chronicle:
De Young's reopening will be freshened by stunning Oceanic art collection
A dramatic presentation of New Guinea artifacts from the Jolika Collection, promised by Marcia and John Friede, will generate some of the excitement when the new M.H. de Young Memorial Museum opens in October.
The Friedes have just added another cache of remarkable Oceanic art objects to their already peerless holdings. It will also come to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
On a recent trip to Australia, John Friede concluded purchase of the Harry Beran Collection of nearly 1,000 objects made by the Massim people and other coastal dwellers of New Guinea.
None of the Beran Collection material, still in Australia, will appear in the de Young's opening Oceanic art rotation. Proper photographic documentation of it has barely begun.
Friede met Beran, a retired Australian academic, years ago, he told The Chronicle by phone.
"I've never known anyone with more complete files on the Massim material, " Friede said of Beran. "He knows every object in obscure little collections in British universities and elsewhere."
Friede began discussing the possibility of buying Beran's collection when they happened to meet in Paris, while Beran was doing some research. "I asked him, 'What are you going to do with this stuff?,' " Friede recalled. " 'I know where it belongs.' "
Aware of the Friedes' promised gift to the de Young, Beran responded " 'You're right,' " Friede said, " 'but I don't want to lose access to the stuff because I want to write the book on it.' "
So the collectors struck a deal whereby Beran will oversee a major publication on the Massim cultural artifacts. "It will be so full of information that everything else on the subject will seem like a pamphlet," Friede said of the planned volume. It will be part of a series of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco publications to document the Jolika Collection, so named from the first two letters of the Friedes' grown children John, Lisa and Karen.