Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

2.14.2011

Museum Shopping

[A small Spotlight 2011 find by Annie Butrus. Photo my own.]


Julep cups are usually my go-to containers for blooms cut short but sometimes I'm in the mood for an earthier look, like the Baule pottery posted last year. At the moment, this seven inch vase handmade on the Ivory Coast of Africa is calling my name again. The Museum for African Art gift shop offers an array of these ceramics, which are discounted this month as part of a store-wide 50 percent off sale.


Books are not discounted, but I noticed that the exhibition catalogue published to accompany Desert Jewels: North African Jewelry and Photography from the Xavier Guerrand-Hermes Collection is still available for an easy-on-the-budget $19.95.


[Baskets clockwise from the top: Zulu Lidded Basket, ca. 1990s, created by Beauty Nxgongo using Ilala palm fiber, South Africa, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; second basket also created by Beauty Nxgongo and included in Grass Roots: African Origins of an American Art; Kongo Lidded Basket, Mid-to-late 20th century, National Museum of African Art.]

In case you missed the update to the previous post, the latest issue of RL Magazine highlights the Museum's future home designed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects for a prime spot on Museum Mile.  Renderings show trapezoidal windows inspired by African basket weave. I'm well aware that the patterns of the baskets above aren't dopplegangers for the windows; they just caught my attention today.

Not for sale in the gift shop, the two very graphic examples with zigzags were made by contemporary South African weaver, Beauty Nxgongo. Her work is represented in The Met's permanent collection and she uses natural sources to create her colors.

Related past posts: Sweet Greet and There's More.

8 comments:

Karena said...

The basketry is amazing, and Courtney, the vase you are eyeing is perfect!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

The Devoted Classicist said...

Museums can offer some great merchandise. It is disappointing in those cases when their stock bears little relation to their collection however. I was glad to see these great examples of artistic wares.

Emile de Bruijn said...

Those baskets by Beauty Nxgongo are so elegant - I think it is the combination of the bulging sides with the extreme tapering of the mouth and foot, plus the bold zigzags. And how wonderful to be named 'Beauty'!

Style Court said...

Emile --

I do think the boldness of her forms and patterns is a big part of their visual appeal. Thanks for pointing out the tapering.

Style Court said...

John --

Such a great point. I suppose the need to stock crowd pleasers leads to merchanise that can seem a bit off.

Style Court said...

Karena --

Glad you like the baskets.

The Peak of Chic said...

I really like your Annie Butrus painting. Lucky you!

Style Court said...

Thanks Jennifer!