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Release: March 12, 1999

'Kilengi: African Art from the Bareiss Family Collection' opens at the UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The exhibition, "Kilengi: African Art from the Bareiss Family Collection," an international traveling exhibition of more than 200 objects, will be on view at the University of Iowa Museum of Art from Saturday, March 27 through Sunday, May 23.

The exhibition features pieces from the collection of Walter Bareiss, an avid collector of African Art who lives in Germany and the United States. Consisting of a wide variety of objects, including masks, figurines, furniture, weapons and ceramics, the exhibition will focus on unusual, rarely displayed types of sculpture, primarily from Eastern and Southern Africa.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Project for the Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa (PASALA), an interdisciplinary program at the UI, will hold its annual conference Friday, March 26 through Sunday, March 28. For this year's conference, "Crosscurrents: Art and Power in East Africa," scholars from Europe, Africa and America will present research on East African art and culture that will contribute to a deeper understanding of the objects featured in the exhibition and the changing cultural landscape out of which they emerge.

The opening of the exhibition will be held Friday, March 26, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the museum. As part of this event, Labelle Prussin, architect and research associate, National Museum of African Art, will present the keynote address of the conference at 8 p.m., and Olabayo Olaniyi, a UI graduate student from Nigeria in West Africa will present a drum performance after the address at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Christopher Roy, UI professor of art and art history, wrote the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition. Roy writes in his foreword to the catalogue, "Walter Bareiss has assembled a collection that includes object types and styles from peoples that were virtually unknown to Westerners only a few years ago. These objects have shown us that Africans continue to create exciting works of art in response to new challenges to success and even survival in Africa."

Numerous pieces from the Bareiss Collection have been on view in important exhibitions around the world. The exhibition "Kilengi: African Art from the Bareiss Family Collection" opened in Hanover, Germany and has since traveled to Vienna and Munich.

Victoria Rovine, curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and Emily Vermillion, curator of Education at the UI Museum of Art, plan to use the exhibition in a series of interpretive programs for both campus and community audiences.

The UI Museum of Art has a longstanding tradition of African exhibitions and educational programs centered on the museum's renowned Stanley Collection. The collection, created by Max and Betty Stanley of Muscatine, consists of more than 600 African masks, figures, textiles and utilitarian objects representing various ethnic groups from the sub-Saharan region. The significance of this collection has made the UI a center for the study of African art and history, and the UI Museum of Art an appropriate venue for the first American appearance of "Kilengi: African Art from the Bareiss Collection."

The Project for the Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa (PASALA) is an interdisciplinary program of fellowships, scholarships, conferences and publications focused on the visual arts of Africa. PASALA has hosted international Stanley Conferences on African Art since 1979, accompanied by Stanley Graduate Student Conferences on African Art. It also co-sponsored the Ninth Triennial Symposium on African Art in 1992. Proceedings of the Stanley Conferences are published as Iowa Studies in African Art. PASALA also supports travel by African museum professionals to the Museum of Art to study the Stanley Collection and to participate in workshops on museum administration, collections management, and basic research on African art.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive and just north of the museum.

For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit on the World Wide Web. Information is available on other UI arts events at