Latent Emissions, Chakaia Booker
Wealth, Power, Society: African Art from the Owen D. Mort Jr. Collection
SNITE Museum of Art November 6–December 18, 2011
The large traditional African art collection of Owen D. Mort Jr. is in the process of being donated to the Snite Museum of Art. Wealth-Power-Society featured dazzling, high-status and royal costumes and beadwork, iron and brass weapons, symbols of authority and currency, as well as masks and other objects used to communicate with the spirit world in order to maintain social stability and traditional moral structures. Numbering about one thousand works of art, the collection contains important nineteenth- and twentieth-century objects from traditional African groups throughout the continent, but the main portion was developed in Zaire, present-day Democratic Republic of Congo, where Mr. Mort lived and worked from 1974–1983. The second exhibition will focus upon African furniture, household objects, traditional dress and jewelry, and the third upon a comprehensive treatment of the wrought iron and brass weapons, authority symbols and currencies used throughout Africa in the last two hundred years.