An important ancient vase will complement the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ collection of ancient vases. It was installed in the Ancient Mediterranean galleries on May 7, 2015, and was among more than 100 works acquired in at the March 19 meeting of the VMFA Board of Trustees.
The amazing image of an African noble was produced by a Greek artist living in southern Italy more than 2,300 years ago. This work speaks to the diversity of the ancient Mediterranean world and to the very human interest that Greek artists took in the people and world around them. The naturalism of this image leaves no doubt that the artist had directly encountered black Africans even if he (or she) did not intend this as a portrait of a specific individual. The vase was made with a mould (for the head) to which wheel-made elements (the foot, neck and mouth) and a handle were attached. The form is an oinochoe, a pitcher for pouring wine. It may have been used in a household or even at a symposium, where ornamented vases often served as conversation starters.
“The Greek Head Vase is an object of the greatest aesthetic quality, thoroughly in keeping with VMFA’s highly admired collection of ancient vases. The fact that it is Apulian is especially appealing as VMFA’s holdings of south Italian vases constitute one of the collection’s strengths,” said Dr. Peter Schertz, Jack and Mary Ann Frable curator of ancient art.
Gifts of the Robert and Nancy Nooter Collection:
• Pueblo/Apache, Painted Hide Shirt, c. 1860, hide, pigment, 50 x 28 x 8”
• Otoe or Sauk, Headdress, 1750-1780, leather, horsehair, bird quills, pigment, 7 x 5 x 14”
• Kiapkwa (Ancestral Zuni), Canteen, ca. 1850, native clay and pigments, 9 x 9½ x 7″
• Zuni, Kachina, wood, feathers, clothe, bells, turquoise, 11-3/16 x 4⅞ x 4¾”
• Zuni, Kachina, wood, feathers, clothe, leather, 10⅜ x 4⅜ x 4⅛”
• Zuni, Kachina, wood, cloth, 17⅝ x 2½ x 5¾”
• Sioux, Dance Stick, wood, leather, 41⅝ x 7⅞ x 1¼”
• Arikara, Drum w/Buffalo Image, leather, wood, 2⅝ x 10⅞ ” dia.
• Socorro, Effigy Canteen, ceramic, pigment, 6 x 4 x 5”
• Tularosa, Olla, ceramic, pigment, 12 x 16”
Purchases, Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment:
• Inuit, Frowning Finger Mask, wood, 7 x 5 x ½”
• Inuit, Native American, Bird Mask, wood, 8 x 5 x 2″
• Tlingit or Tsimshian, Horn Ladle, mountain sheep horn, 15 x 6 x 6”
• Yokut, Basket, 1870-1920, redbud, grasses, sedge root, 12 x 24” dia
• Zuni, Olla with Horned Toad Motif, late 19th century, terracotta with polychrome pigment, 12 x 8”
• Navajo, Head Stall, silver, leather, 26⅝ x 7 x 7¾”
• Comanche, Drum (Two Birds), leather, wood, 4¾ x 11⅝” dia
• Cheyenne, Southern Cheyenne’s Girl’s Boots, leather, beads, 1:17½ x 8-11/16 x 3¾” .2” 17½ x 8⅞ x 3⅜”
• Apache, Pueblo/Apache Man’s Shirt, ca. 1860-70, hide, pigments, 50 x 28 x 8″
• Ute, Cradle, 1880, hide, seed, Russian trade beads, wood frame, 30 x 10 x 7″
• Otoe or Sauk, Headdress, ca. 1780-1820, animal hair and porcupine quills, 7 x 5 x 14″
• Yakama, Flat Case Parfleche, ca. 1875, buffalo rawhide, tanned hide, pigments, 38 x 23¾ x 2⅜”
• Attributed to Joseph No Two Horns (Sioux, 1852-1942), Drum, ca. 1875-1900, rawhide, wood, pigments 2¼ x 16″ dia.
• A collection of 21 African objects, including 20th century paintings and sculptures, wooden Ibejis and an Osanyin Gift of Terence and Rosemary Finegan in memory of Elizabeth and Harold Finegan.
• Bamana culture (Mali), Three-piece Mask Ensemble, mid-20th century, wood, fiber, cotton, beads, cowries, horn. Aldine S. Hartman Endowment Fund.
• Dogon culture (Mali), Uldebe Blanket, ca. first half 20th century, cotton, 113 x 60½”. Gift of Dr. W. Peter Trower / The Secular Society.
• Dogon culture (Mali), Bell with Dangles, 19th– early 20th century, iron, 4¼”. Gift of Mona Gavigan.
• Dogon culture (Mali), eight Gobo (Blasksmith’s Staffs), 19th-20th century, iron, various sizes, tallest ca. 49”h. Gift of Mona Gavigan.
• Edo culture (Nigeria), Bell, ca. 1960s, brass, 9”h. Gift of Barbara and Richard Priebe.
• Kwilu Pende culture (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Power Figure in the Form of a Belgian Colonial Officer, 1931, wood with metal repair staples, 24⅝” high. Aldine S. Hartman Endowment Fund.
• Ndebele culture (South Africa), Nyoga (Bridal Train), early 20th century, glass beads, fiber, 67¼ x 9¾”. Gift of William & Norma Canelas Roth.
• Georgina Beier (English, active in Osogo Nigeria, born 1938): Masked Rider I, 1966, woodcut, 14⅞ x 20”; Exhibition Poster, Washington Women’s Art Center, 1976, screen print, 24-1/16 x 21-1/16”. Gift of Barbara and Richard Priebe.
• Chief Ovia Idah (Nigerian, 1908-1968), Edo culture, Oliphant, ca. 1960s, ivory, 21½”h. Gift of Barbara and Richard Priebe.
• Susanne Wenger (Austrian/Nigerian, 1915-2009),Osogbo Deities from the Iwin (frightening spirits) series, probably 1960, screen print, 20 x 23⅛”. Gift of Barbara and Richard Priebe.
• John George Brown (American, born England, 1831–1913) and Henry Bryan Hall (American, born England, 1839-1913), The Dude, 1884, engraving, 30¾ x 21⅞”. Gift of Michael and Beth Lawson.
• Clare Leighton (American, born England, 1898-1989), two plates from New England Industries set for Wedgwood Queen’s Ware, ca. 1949-50, transfer-printed creamware, 10 ⅝” d: Codfishing, Gift of Stephen Borkowski in honor of Tabitha Vevers; Cranberrying, Gift of Stephen Borkowski in memory of Selina Trieff.
• Lurelle Guild for Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa), Footed Bowl, 1934, aluminum, glass, 5½ x 13¼”. Gift of David Hanks in memory of Ellen Dixon Cross.
• Elizabeth Nottingham (American, 1907-1956), Garibaldi Being Cleaned, 1935, oil on canvas, 17⅝ x 14”. Gift of Talmage Day.
• Charles S. Todd for Rookwood, Vase, 1917, ceramic, 8” x 3⅜”dia. Gift of Hank and Genevieve Chenault.
• John Singer Sargent (American, born Italy, 1856-1925), The Rialto, 1909, oil on canvas, 21 ½ x 26” . Gift of James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin.
• Hale Woodruff (American, 1900-1980), eight linocuts from Hale Woodruff: Selections from the Atlanta Period, 1931-1946, ca. 1931-46, printed posthumously 1996/68, ed. 74/300. Gift of Auldlyn Higgins Williams and E.T. Williams, in memory of Gayle Perkins Atkins.
• A collection of 14 prints by nine American artists, including John Sloan, Red Grooms, and Raphael Soyer. Gift of Dr. Dorothy A. Canter.
Modern and Contemporary
• Ahmed Alsoudani (Iraqi, b. 1975), Untitled , 2011, charcoal and acrylic on canvas, 98¾ x 73½”. Gift of Pamela K. and William A. Royall, Jr.
• Nell Blaine (American, 1922-1996): Cot and Table with Flowers, 1959, oil on canvas, 30⅛ × 35”; Trees at Saratoga, 1961, watercolor , 8⅞ × 11 15/16”. Gift of Martha Davenport in Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Council.
• Karin Davie (b. Toronto, 1965, lives and works in New York) , Before You, Before Me, 1994, from the Posturpedic series, oil on canvas, trapezoidal diptych, each: 48 x 168 x 2⅛”. Gift of Drs. Paul and Sara Monroe.
• Pam Fox (American, b. 1958), Bernice’s Hair , 1997, selenium-toned silver print, 23 x 18″. Gift of Alyssa C. Salomon and William Lupoletti.
• Theaster Gates (American, born 1973), Glass Lantern Slide Pavilion, 2011, reclaimed wood, linoleum tile, carpet, fire hose, wire, metal, four ceramic teacups, 254 glass lantern slides, LED light, overall dimensions: 8 x 9 x 8’. Gift of Pamela K. and William A. Royall, Jr.
• Richard Haas (American, born 1936), three mural maquettes for Two James Center, Richmond, Virginia, 1987. Gift of Richard Haas.
• Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Untitled (Self-Portrait Triptych), 2006-2014, Ambrotypes (unique collodion wet-plate positives on black glass), with sandarac varnish. Gift of Sally Mann.
• M. C. (Mary Caroline) Richards (American, 1916-1999), Bowl, ca. 1977, glazed ceramic, 2⅛ x 5” dia. Gift of Cate Fitt in memory of Patricia Hewitt Fitt.
• Rubin Peacock (American, b. 1941), Untitled Totem, cast bronze, 60 x 24 x 24”. Gift of Henrietta Near.
• Martin Puryear (American, born 1941), Dark Loop, 1982, woodcut on ivory Japanese paper, 20⅛ x 28-1/16. Gift of Christopher English and Meda S. Lane.
• Mickalene Thomas (American, b. 1971), Interior: Two Chairs and Fireplace , 2011, acrylic and oil enamel with rhinestones on panel, 96 x 72”. Gift of Pamela K. and William A. Royall, Jr.
• Heide Trepanier (American, b. 1969), Matronalia, 2010, enamel on canvas, 72 x 72”. Gift of Pamela K. and William A. Royall, Jr.
• Portrait of the Jade Emperor (Okhwangsangje), Korean, Joseon dynasty, 19th century, painting mounted on board, ink and color on paper, image: 29¼ x 38¼”, panel: 35¼ x 44”. Kathleen Boone Samuels Memorial Fund.
• Miwako Nishizawa (Japanese-American, born 1964), Twelve Views of Virginia, 2010-2014, wood block prints, ink and color on paper, various sizes. The René and Carolyn Balcer Collection.
• Japanese, Edo period, Seasonal Flowers, Birds and Butterflies, 17th-18th century, four-panel folding screen; ink, color, and gold on paper, 41½ x 80”. Gift of Charles Vincent.
• Japanese, Edo period Seasonal Flowers, dated 1837, Oda Fusen 小田莆川 /Hosen 甫川 (1805-1847), a pair of hanging scrolls; ink and color on silk, 80 x 7½” each, with a wooden box. Gift of Charles Vincent.
• Japanese, Edo period Autumn Scene with Birds, 19thcentury, two-panel folding screen; ink, color, and gold on paper, 67 x 68”. Gift of Charles Vincent.
• Japanese, Showa period, Chrysanthemum, Hydrangea, and Plum Blossoms, mid 20th century, two-panel sliding cabinet doors; ink, color and gold on paper (framed, no glass), 20 x 48”. Gift of Charles Vincent.
• Antoine-Louis Barye, (French, 1796–1875): Un Cerf et un Lynx, 1834, etching printed in black ink on chine volante on wove paper, 8⅛ x 10-15/16” Un Cerf et un Lynx, 1834, lithographic transfer printed in black ink on wove paper, 7⅞ x 11⅜”. Gift of Nelson L. St. Clair, Jr.
• Salvator Rosa (Italian, 1615–1673), Death of Atilius Regulus, 1662, etching printed in black ink on laid paper, image: 18½ × 29”. Gift of Thomas and Margaret McCormick in honor of Muriel B. Christison.
• Schlumberger decorative objects and “Hans Sloane” Chelsea Botanical Ceramics. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon.
• George Wickes (English, 1698-1761), Hot Water Jug, 1753, silver, 9½ x 6¼”. Gift of Ms. Nancy Ford.
• A collection of prints by Charles Meryon (French, 1821–1868) and other printmakers, 17th-20th Gift of Frank Raysor.
• A collection of prints by American and European printmakers, 17th-20th Gift of Frank Raysor in honor of David Goode.
• A collection of European prints, 17th-19th Gift of Robert B. and Harriet W. Scott.
• Teotihuacan, 14 terra cotta and stone objects, AD 400-600. Collection of James R. Wilkins, Sr., Gift of Donna Wilkins Downing.
• Indian, probably West Bengal, Vishnu and Attendants, ca. 1050-1100, black phyllite, 34½ × 16½ × 4”. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Gurpal S. Bhuller.
About VMFA Acquisitions
These works of art were approved by the VMFA Board of Trustees on March 19, 2015 2015. All art is purchased with private funds from dedicated endowments. VMFA is a state agency and a public/private partnership. After trustee approval, the art becomes the property of the Commonwealth of Virginia to protect, preserve, and interpret.
About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the nation. With acclaimed holdings in American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary art – and additional strengths in African, Ancient, East Asian, and European – VMFA ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus lively after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA, a certified Virginia Green attraction, is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit www.vmfa.museum.
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