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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Museum Exhibit Features Western African Artifacts

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 9, 2007) – UCM ’s Arthur F. McClure Archives and University Museum will host “Masquerade,” an exhibit of traditional western and central African art from the collection of Brian and Kristi Nickl. The exhibit will open to the public Jan. 14 and continue through the end of February.

Baman tribe of Camaroon
A ceremonial mask from the Bamun tribe of Cameroon is among the items on display as part of the exhibit titled “Masquerade” in UCM’s Arthur F. McClure Archives and University Museum during January and February.

The majority of the items on display are carved from wood with decorative applications and were utilized by African societies to honor their ancestors by re-enacting the origins of their cultures. Many of the works in the display also were known to serve a religious or educational function that was symbolic to the social order of the tribe.

Brian and Kristi Nickl have collected various forms of African art for more than 18 years. The collection is based on a belief in the importance of understanding African forms as a communicative expression, as well as historic identity of diverse cultures.

“Conceivably, one of the greatest things we can achieve from the Masquerade Tribal Arts Exhibition is the knowledge and understanding of cultures contrary to our own,” Brian Nickl said.

"This is an extraordinary display of central and west African materials, from the multiple perspectives of art, culture, and history,” said John Sheets, director of the archives and museum. “It will be incorporated into classes of Africana Studies, anthropology, history, and many more departments in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. I hope the university community and our local region will take advantage of such a unique opportunity."

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Arthur F. McClure Archives and Museum, located in James C. Kirkpatrick Library 1470, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday when university classes are in session. For more information, contact the archives and museum at 660-543-4649.