PROVENANCE: Historical Figures In Oceanic Art
Historical Figures In Oceanic Art
High up the stony slopes of the Greek island of Thassos off the coast of Eastern Macedonia is the small village of Kazaviti. There, inside a mid-19th-century stone house, locked in a small suitcase, carefully wrapped in cloth, are the relics of the Papuan Gulf village of Tovei on Urama Island. Among the dark chunks of wood is part of an extinct type of solid drum, a fragment from the first...read more.
The great collections of New Guinea art were made mostly in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, acquisitions of traditional art in New Guinea by museums, dealers and private collectors continued throughout the twentieth century. From 1969 to 2005, while living in Sydney, I collected art from the Massim region, which coincides roughly with...read more.
Marie Ange Saulnier-Ciolkowska was an inspiration to those who met her and her apartment on 26 rue Jacob a treasure house. Born in 1898 she married in 1924 the painter and art critic Henri Saulnier Ciolkowska who was an enthusiastic browser of antique shops. In one he met a missionary and through him acquired objects from...read more.
Richard Vahsel (1868-1912) was a German ship captain hailing from the city of Hannover. After prolonged service with the Hamburg America Line (HAL), Vahsel joined the First German Antarctic Expedition (1901-1903) as second officer. Returning to HAL service following the expedition, Vahsel agreed to captain the steamer Peiho, named after...read more.
Rudolf von Bennigsen (1859-1912) was the first official governor of German New Guinea (1899-1901) following the German state takeover of the colony from the New Guinea Company. He hailed from lower Saxonian nobility and studied law in Strasbourg. Following his studies, he worked in...read more.
For most in the Oceanic art world the name Peter Hallinan is most recognized from the single owner sale of his collection by Sotheby’s London on December 7th, 1992. But the Peter I knew was a self-effacing, modest bloke, who pursued both solitude and privacy with passion throughout his 77 years. John (Peter) Hallinan, the scholarly, eccentric American-who came to Australia...read more.
A number of superb Sepik and New Britain art objects were collected by the Swedish Consul to New Guinea Ragnar Lindahl in the 1920s when he owned and operated a copra plantation on the northwest coast of the Gazelle Peninsula aptly named Stockholm. Lindahl’s quest for adventure started early...read more.
Lyle Scholz (1933–2013) was a pioneering American linguist and missionary who took a ship across the Pacific in 1962 to spend his career living with and studying the Kalam people of the Simbai area deep in Papua New Guinea’s Schrader Mountain Range. Born on a farm in Nebraska, Scholz attended Columbia University before...read more.
Australian Bruce Lawes (1926–2011) was one of earliest field collectors in Papua New Guinea and was dedicated to collecting artifacts for their aesthetics. Lawes arrived in New Guinea in 1947 and worked as a patrol officer in New Ireland. Less than a decade later he left administrative life, moved to the Abelam area and lived as a trader based in...read more.
Anthony Forge is well regarded for his pioneering work in visual anthropology and his outstanding collector’s eye. When Forge initially set off to study the Abelam of New Guinea as a young anthropologist, it was almost unheard of to make art the central focus of a fieldwork study...read more
Rainer F. Buschmann
In February of 1907 a letter from the German Colonial Division within the Foreign Office arrived in Ober-Langenbielau, a town now called Bielawa in Poland, then part of the Prussian state. Its recipient was a Paul Barschdorff, a locally respected teacher, who had applied for service in the German colonies. Since he was deemed suitable to work in a tropical climate, the Colonial Office ordered Barschdorff to German New Guinea to take on the headmaster position at the new indigenous school located at Namanula near Rabaul...read more.
Philip Goldman was a well-known London-based collector and later dealer in tribal art. Between 1957 and 1969 Goldman made several trips to New Guinea collecting some great objects from the Karawari, Hunstein and Telefomin regions. In 1960 he opened Gallery 43 in London...read more.
For anyone with more than a passing interest in New Guinea art, it does not take long to come across the name of Dr. George Kennedy. Normally it is in an exhibition catalog listing the provenance for some old and significant figurative sculpture from the Abelam or Karawari River areas. Kennedy was a prominent geophysicist from the University of California at Los Angeles who made a number of collecting trips to New Guinea...read more.