Monday, October 29, 2012

Quai Branly Museum in Paris

Paris boasts a modern museum whose core permanent exhibitions are of traditional art in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The Musée du Quai Branly, located close to the Eiffel Tower, is a modern and "green" structure opened to the public in 2006.
Quai Branly Museum street view
La Rivière
Entering the museum is in itself an adventure--first through outdoor winding paths, in the garden, and then an interior winding path, in itself a work of art called the "River" showing words projected in the ground, moving like water.
It's quite a trip to reach the top, where the entrance to the permanent exhibits is, as well as to the current exhibition, "The Art of Hair."

Below are a few photos of the Africa section. As usual in all African traditional art exhibits, there are many pieces from the Grassland Bamiléké region's prolific artists. However, to my great surprise, there was one piece, not just from Douala, but specifically from Deido, my husband's home neighborhood! (Douala used to be 3 villages: Bonanjo, Akwa, and Deido.)
(bottom) Bow of a boat from the "Deido School of Art" (Cameroon)
Danhomé royal seat
Figurines from South Cameroon and Gabon

Colorful Téké-Tsayi pieces (Gabon-Congo)
The Museum is a little tricky to navigate with its labyrinthine style of exhibitis. What I would have liked to see as additions would be modern artists from these same regions.

For all those interested in traditional (I don't especially care for the term "indigenous"--do we say indigenous art from France?) art from Africa, it is still really worth visiting this museum.
Address: 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris; subway: Alma-Marceau
Exhibition starting November 13: Nigeria, Arts Of The Benue Valley