The African Collections of the University Museum

By: H. A. Weischhoff

Originally Published in 1945

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A drawn map of Africa labelled with locations
TRIBES AND PLACES MENTIONED IN THE TEXT (Political Boundary Lines ore Indicated)

VISITORS to the galleries of a museum which, like the University Museum, exhibits the arts and crafts of non-European peoples, fall into two categories. There are those who enjoy the exhibitions as objects of art only and are looking for the satisfaction that the mere sight of these objects may give them. The others view the exhibits as cultural manifestations of distant lands and of bygone cultures which may reveal information about the people who produced them. To the latter group this Bulletin is addressed in that it attempts to offer background material designed to enable the visitor to the African Hall to see the objects in their proper setting. Exhibitions at best cannot be more than the illustrations of a book without its text. The labels accompanying exhibitions may give some information about an individual object, but cannot provide for continuity in explanation. This gap, unavoidable by the nature of exhibition, can in part be filled by this general narrative which will help the visitor to the University Museum to appreciate more fully the many objects of the African collection which are outstanding in America.

We hope that this Bulletin may recapture some of the life that created these objects, and that the reader may see them as part of a cultural system and not merely as inanimate museum pieces. Special credit should be given to Reuben Goldberg for the superb photographs accompanying this text.

H. A. W.

Cite This Article

Weischhoff, H. A.. "Preface." Museum Bulletin XI, no. 1-2 (March, 1945): 5-5. Accessed July 18, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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