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Tiki Central Forums General Tiki LA Museum of Art acquires Oceanic Arts collection
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LA Museum of Art acquires Oceanic Arts collection
ikitnrev
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2008-07-11 08:55 am   Permalink

It looks like those in the L.A. area will soon have some cool Polynesian items to admire .....

"The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has acquired a collection of Oceanic art considered to be one of the most significant private collections of its kind assembled in the 20th century.





The acquisition, announced Tuesday by the museum, comprises 46 rare works purchased from the Masco Corp. Foundation of Detroit. The purchase was made possible with a $5-million challenge grant from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, with the balance funded by LACMA trustees Jane and Terry Semel, David Bohnett, Camilla Chandler Frost, and Gayle and Ed Roski.

LACMA director Michael Govan told The Times on Tuesday that the collection -- previously shown at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and other museums as part of a mid-'90s touring exhibition -- is expected to go on display at the museum in late spring 2009.

Govan declined to offer an estimate of the monetary value of the collection. But Michael Kan, a curator emeritus of African, Oceanic and New World culture at the Detroit Institute of Arts who was instrumental in acquiring the artworks for the former owner, said that rare individual items, including a moai kavakava (male ancestor figure) and rapa (dance paddle), both carved around 1800, and an 18th century Hawaiian drum collected by Capt. James Cook in 1778 would be worth $1 million or more apiece.

The collection is considered to be strongest in its objects from Polynesia and Melanesia.

"I was just delighted to hear about the acquisition, and it's just a miracle that the artworks will stay together," Kan said. "For example, the dance paddle -- I was recently offered one for $2 million that was in need of repair, and the one in this collection is in mint condition."

Govan described the acquisition as "one of the most exciting acquisitions the museum has ever made -- the quality of the art is super-rare in the world. Every piece is a museum-quality object. It's hard to find these things that have such an impeccable provenance. When a world museum is trying to connect the dots, these objects bear witness to a certain history."

Govan also noted the significant influence of the types of works in the collection on modern and contemporary artists, including Tristan Tzara, Man Ray, Max Ernst and others.

"They're so accessible, even in a modern age. It's the sheer power of the items that you don't see in any other culture," he said. "The dance paddle is a sensual, abstract object that has that sort of power to it. And they are not important just because of their influence on European artists. They are an alternate aesthetic and should be seen that way."

Govan added that the items also may inspire future collaborations between LACMA and the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History.


 
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MadDogMike
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Mar 30, 2008
Posts: 7363
From: The Anvil of the Sun
Posted: 2008-07-11 09:06 am   Permalink

A Hawaiian drum collected Capt Cook himself, how cool is that!

 
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bigbrotiki
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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-11 09:22 am   Permalink

$5 Million? When they could have had mine for 4 ! I wonder what my dance paddle swizzle stick is worth by itself....

 
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little lost tiki
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Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 7589
From: Orange,CA-right near the Circle!
Posted: 2008-07-11 10:13 am   Permalink

STOKED!


 
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JohnnyP
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 23, 2005
Posts: 1689
From: Attica, MI
Posted: 2008-07-11 11:20 am   Permalink

Dawgonit! More tiki leaves Detroit and goes to CA. I remember seeing this exhibit on a school field trip a long long time ago and these works of art stand out in my memory as vivid as the Egyptian mummies. Maybe this exhibit is one of the reasons I found tiki. I've been to the Detroit Institute of Arts a few times over the last 7 years trying to see these, but the DIA went through a multi-year renovation which had several exhibits closed. I was hoping these pieces would be displayed again here when the renovation was complete, but alas not.


Here is a link to Abebooks where you can get a book on the Masco collection at the DIA.

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=wardell&kn=masco&sts=t&x=68&y=14

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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-11 1:26 pm   Permalink

I think I'll wait till they display their loot here next spring and buy that catalog. I just got a LACMA membership and get a discount.

 
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GatorRob
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Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-07-11 4:12 pm   Permalink

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC has a great collection of Polynesian art as well. Sorry, it's not directly related to the subject of this thread, but it gives me an excuse to share some of these photos. Hope nobody minds.

It's very difficult to get good pictures considering everything is behind glass.














 
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SuperEight
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 16, 2004
Posts: 268
From: Palo Alto
Posted: 2008-07-12 12:04 am   Permalink

When I saw the word "Arts" capitalized I almost had a heart attack thinking Oceanic Arts had closed its doors. Next time be more careful or you might have the death of a virgin on your hands when one of us hurls her into a volcano trying vainly to appease the Tiki gods and avoid another landmark from closing.

Nonetheless, thanks for the great photos from this primo collection. I remember visiting a museum in Hawaii where a sword hung that allegedly was used to kill Cap'n Cook himself when the natives realized he was not a god. The sword was made of, what else, a swordfish! Take that white devil!

[ This Message was edited by: SuperEight 2008-07-12 00:09 ]


 
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christiki295
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Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2008-07-12 10:11 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-11 13:26, bigbrotiki wrote:
I think I'll wait till they display their loot here next spring and buy that catalog. I just got a LACMA membership and get a discount.



Will LACMA have another all night Tiki party to celebrate, like a few years back?
It gives me a reason to renew!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-12 1:28 pm   Permalink

I doubt they will be able to make that jump in consciousness from high brow (their prestige million dollar collection) to low brow (Tiki party).

But I can't see a Museum thread die! Here are a few of the many South Seas artifacts on display at the Berlin Dahlem Museum, he he :













...now Virani has to chime in with some pics of the Musee du Quai Branly




 
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christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3818
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2008-07-12 6:53 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-12 13:28, bigbrotiki wrote:
I doubt they will be able to make that jump in consciousness from high brow (their prestige million dollar collection) to low brow (Tiki party).




OK.

However, LACMA has been all about increasing their marketing - with their all night parties, marketing the BCAM, etc,, so maybe a "LACMA Luau" to celebrate their new collection?


 
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virani
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Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1438
From: Volcanic area of France
Posted: 2008-07-19 1:16 pm   Permalink

More than the great collection of the Quai Branly Museum, especially with the current exhibition of the Steven hooper collection of south seas arts, we also have untill the end of the month a fantastic exhibition of 60 easter island objects from the 18th, 19th century (including Rongorongo, kavakava statues...), and for free, at the Galerie Louise Leiris.

Sorry, I don't have any pictures to post, it was impossible to do. But I got the catalogue, if anyone need, I can scan some pages.
Here are the 60 objects :






[ This Message was edited by: virani 2008-07-20 11:45 ]


 
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BettyBleu
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Joined: Jun 20, 2003
Posts: 225
From: Island Oasis Backyard (So Cal)
Posted: 2008-07-20 10:43 am   Permalink

If memory serves, the first LACMA all night party was luau-themed.

 
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Sophista-tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 13, 2005
Posts: 1726
From: Seattle WA
Posted: 2008-07-20 11:36 am   Permalink

thanks everyone who posted pics I love seeing museum collections and the displays. Good refrence material.

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11192
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2008-07-20 11:58 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-07-20 10:43, BettyBleu wrote:
If memory serves, the first LACMA all night party was luau-themed.



That's what Christiki is referring to, I was even invited to sign the Book of Tiki that evening, and the Shagster was there, too. It was great!

But while some venerable institutions are indeed becoming more liberal in their events to bring in a younger generation, like the Natural History Museum's First Fridays...
http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=27616&forum=17&start=last&
...and the Hollywood Cemetery's classic film screening series "Night ABOVE the Stars", I somehow doubt that LACMA, after having spent 5 million dollars on rare Oceanic Art, will dare to "cheapen" (in their perception!) that acquisition with a Tiki party. I would be happily surprised, of course, but the p.c. reserve of academics, and the whole touchiness of the subject of looted native art in Western museums will make it unlikely, in my pragmatic view.


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