Regular visitors to Gallery 50, home to highlights from the museum’s collections of African Art and Indian Art of the Americas, know that the dreaded stanchions have been put in place, signifying that the galleries are closed. Here's why you should be happy about it:
The collections are moving to the lower level of the Morton Wing, the southwestern wing of the historic building. Each collection will be housed in a 3500 square foot gallery renovated by architect Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architects. The new galleries should open this winter.
Richard Townsend, curator of the Indian Art of the Americas, and Kathleen Bickford Berzock, curator of African Art, will soon fill the galleries with familiar favorites and never-before-seen acquisitions, including some exciting gifts from generous patrons.
Many more works will be displayed, and many of those will be seen in the round, allowing visitors to appreciate them from all angles. And for those of you with long memories, we will once again have textiles displayed in rotating installations, while new maps, timelines, and labels will situate these works in a global context.
Long story short? It's going to be worth the wait.
Vili-Kongo. Republic of Congo. Power Figure (Nkisi Nkondi), Early/mid-19th century. Ada Turnbull Hertle Endowment, 1998.502.