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Coaxing the Spirits to Dance: Art and Society in the Papuan Gulf of New Guinea (review)

Coaxing the Spirits to Dance: Art and Society in the Papuan Gulf of New Guinea (review) the contemporary pacific · 20:1 (2008) galleries of the Metropolitan Museum while the Rockefeller Wing renovation is underway. The current exhibition, "Coaxing the Spirits to Dance," is the first to be dedicated to the art of the Papuan Gulf since Douglas Newton curated "Art Styles of the Papuan Gulf" at the Museum of Primitive Art in 1961. Like its predecessor, "Coaxing the Spirits" focuses predominantly on the figurative sculpture of ceremonial male culture in the gulf, with superb examples of dynamic Gope and Hohao boards, and powerful Iriwake, Bioma, and Agibe figures from throughout the region. However, the New York manifestation of the exhibition, which comes to the Metropolitan from the Hood Museum in Dartmouth (where it was curated by Robert Welsch), brings another level of visual material to these striking artifacts: Metropolitan curator Virginia Lee Webb has added photographs from the aaoa Photo Study Collection, many of which depict the actual objects in their original contexts. The juxtaposition of images and objects thus coaxes out several different narratives, some more explicit than others. The primary exhibition narrative presents the rich vibrancy of the art of the Papuan Gulf, with the viewer's aesthetic appreciation enhanced by seeing photographs http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

Coaxing the Spirits to Dance: Art and Society in the Papuan Gulf of New Guinea (review)

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 20 (1) – Feb 11, 2007

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 University of Hawai'i Press. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1527-9464
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Abstract

the contemporary pacific · 20:1 (2008) galleries of the Metropolitan Museum while the Rockefeller Wing renovation is underway. The current exhibition, "Coaxing the Spirits to Dance," is the first to be dedicated to the art of the Papuan Gulf since Douglas Newton curated "Art Styles of the Papuan Gulf" at the Museum of Primitive Art in 1961. Like its predecessor, "Coaxing the Spirits" focuses predominantly on the figurative sculpture of ceremonial male culture in the gulf, with superb examples of dynamic Gope and Hohao boards, and powerful Iriwake, Bioma, and Agibe figures from throughout the region. However, the New York manifestation of the exhibition, which comes to the Metropolitan from the Hood Museum in Dartmouth (where it was curated by Robert Welsch), brings another level of visual material to these striking artifacts: Metropolitan curator Virginia Lee Webb has added photographs from the aaoa Photo Study Collection, many of which depict the actual objects in their original contexts. The juxtaposition of images and objects thus coaxes out several different narratives, some more explicit than others. The primary exhibition narrative presents the rich vibrancy of the art of the Papuan Gulf, with the viewer's aesthetic appreciation enhanced by seeing photographs

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Feb 11, 2007

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