Friday, July 29, 2011


Art of Lake Sentani and Humboldt Bay, New Guinea
May 6 to August 28, 2011
The Menil Collection, Houston, TX

Features 50 objects, including a group of highly stylized and abstracted wooden sculptures and decorative bark cloths.  Many of these works of art were acquired by two pioneering visitors to the region: Swiss explorer, ethnologist, photographer, and collector Paul Wirz and French adventurer, art dealer, photographer, and author Jacques Viot, both active during a notable period of research and collecting that began in 1921.

Curated by Virginia-Lee Webb, an art historian specializing in non-Western art and a former curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Ancestors of the Lake juxtaposes selections from the Menil's permanent holdings with pieces borrowed from public and private collections in Australia, Europe, and the United States.

Ancestors of the Lake is accompanied by an extraordinary catalogue, edited by Virginia-Lee Webb, including essays by leading scholars as well as historical photographs of Lake Sentani and Humboldt Bay.  The 128-page volume features new scholarship on Western explorations of northern New Guinea, including Viot's journey as well as stills by Man Ray.

For details, please visit The Menil Collection's website:

1 comment:

Stacey said...

For those who have not been, this museum houses the collection of John and Dominique de Menil. The pieces they acquired over the years are truly a slice of what the world was like before modern man decimated it with our pop culture. For anyone who hasn't seen terrific tribal art, check out this exhibit (and the whole place!)

Tribal Art Hunter