Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oceanic Art

200 works of art from Oceania have been brought together by The ING Group of Belgium in an exciting display of the exotic and breathtaking world of the South Pacific in all its diversity. The exhibition, titled "Oceania: Ritual Signs, Authority Symbols," is divided into three parts, each devoted to a major cultural area: Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia. The artworks are from Belgian, Dutch, French and German museums, plus Belgian private collections.

On the ING website there is a gallery of 32 photos of selected exotic oceanic objects from the exhibit. Some of these photos also illustrate this article from the webzine EgoDesign.CA.

My grandmother lived in Salem, Massachusetts, right around the corner from the Peabody Museum (now the Peabody Essex Museum) which happens to be the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States. So as a young child I was exposed to their outstanding collection. They have a great collection of Oceanic objects.

Back when I was young, the museum was open without an admission charge. I remember going there alone just to see the shrunken head. Their exhibits of fish and birds in glass cases used to fascinate me as well. The smell of labdanum essential oil brings back memories of their cool and quiet rooms!

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