Posts by Zachary
It is not often that I get offered a really well documented object as a donation to the World Museum’s African collection. Last month I was pleased to accept a unique addition to the collection consisting of a rare divination set, or oracle, from Senegal in West Africa. The oracle, called a Basaon, is used by the Balanta Kanja people of the Casamance region in Southern Senegal and is one of very few remaining oracles of its type. Read more…
7 November 2014 by Zachary
Snakes hold a universal fascination, so it is not surprising that our new ‘Sssnakes Alive‘ exhibition at World Museum is drawing large audiences. We all know that some snake species are highly venomous, but people’s fascination with snakes cannot be explained by the fear factor alone. Read more…
Not all museum projects are part of a long-term plan. Some come about by chance and it was through a stroke of good luck that I was at World Museum when the Ghanaian artist and curator Atta Kwami paid a visit to the African displays in our World Cultures gallery a few months ago. On that occasion I was able to meet Atta over a coffee in the museum café to discuss his current work. Read more…
As curator of the African collections at World Museum I often take groups of visitors round our World Cultures Gallery. I also take individuals and smaller groups, with special interests, behind the scenes to show them our stored collections. Many are students or scholars involved in special research projects, and although they often get excited about what they find in our collections, their interests are mostly intellectual and aesthetic. But recently I had a visit that was rather different because it was from cousins Patrice Wellesley Cole and Iva Johnson.
22 January 2014 by Zachary
World Museum is currently hosting the ‘Magic Worlds’ exhibition. It’s a fun and child-centred look at the miraculous, fantastical, illusional and folkloric – including everything from magicians to fairytales. The exhibition got me thinking about the role that ‘magic’ has played in the museum collection that I curate – the African collection. It’s true to say that there is a darker side to the long relationship that museums have had with all things ‘magical’. Read more…
16 December 2013 by Zachary
Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela, freedom fighter and former President of South Africa, was returned to his ancestral home of Qunu yesterday for a burial ceremony that was broadcast all over the world.
When Nelson Mandela appeared for sentencing in the South African Supreme Court on charges of treason in 1962, he wore a traditional Xhosa beaded costume as an expression of contempt and resistance against the illegitimate proceedings against him. This was captured in a famous picture by Eli Weinberg.
16 September 2013 by Zachary
This month Sokari Douglas Camp is exhibiting her series of six powerful welded steel sculpture at St Georges Hall just a stone’s throw from World Museum Liverpool. The exhibition, titled All the World is Now Richer, has been installed in the Dickens & Gladstone Gallery and is a fitting commemoration for the abolition of slavery. Sokari’s steel figures stand strong and erect. They are modelled on people she remembers but they were inspired by a well known quotation from William Prescott, a former slave in the United States:
“They will remember that we were sold but they won’t remember that we were strong. They will remember that we were bought but not that we were brave”.