August 9 – November 15, 2014

African Art from the Mary Johnston Collection features traditional masks, sculptures and other objects created in West Africa by the Yoruba (Nigeria/Benin) the Bambara and Dogon (Mali), the Bobo (Burkina Faso) and others. Central to tribal life, these objects are intended to praise powerful kings and tribal chiefs, made for home altars and village shrines, or created for use during initiation rites, festivals, religious ceremonies, funerals, and masquerades.

Mary Johnston of Florence, Oregon, inherited the items from her brother, who acquired them in Berlin in the early 1970s. She has spent the last two decades of her life studying and sharing the collection.

Download and read the gallery guide here.

The exhibition was sponsored by Laura and John Cheney and produced with curatorial assistance from the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Image: Idoma (Nigeria), Idoma mask, 20th century, 15” x 6” x 6”, carved and painted wood; Collection of Mary Johnston, Florence, OR