Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Native Americans ask German museum to return human scalps in its display

Ojibwe reservations (Wikipedia)
A group of Native Americans has asked a German museum to return some human scalps in its display. The   Ojibwe Nation said the display at the Karl May Museum is 'insensitive' and 'not culturally appropriate':
Members of Native American tribes are involved in a dispute with a German Wild West museum over human scalps in its exhibition.  [...] The Karl May Museum in Radebeul, outside Dresden, has been criticised for displaying the scalps, some of which are decorated with braided hair and beads. [...] The museum, named after adventure writer Karl May, acquired the scalps from the Austrian Ernst Tobis, as part of a huge collection of Native American artefacts he bequeathed to the museum in 1926.

Antonia Molloy, 'Native Americans ask German museum to return human scalps in its display ' The Independent Online Monday 24 March 2014 .

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The growing backlash against the trade in Tribal Art

Brief and rather sketchy piece in the Economist (Feb 8th): "Masks and magic: The growing backlash against the trade in tribal art"
Tribal art began gaining recognition in the late 19th century when exhibitions, such as MoMA’s “Africa Negro Art” show, new ethnographic museums, such as the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris, and the enthusiasm of modernist artists like Pablo Picasso gave the West a taste for the exotic. But growing cultural sensitivity is restricting the market. Museums are increasingly required to return cultural items to the descendants or tribe they belong to. [...] Australia, New Zealand and countries in Central and South America are also demanding the return of sensitive art work from dealers and auction houses directly. [...] Prices are going up as important pieces become scarcer.
Masks meant to be worn and danced not displayed in a foreign museum (Wikipedia)