Africain Art Authentic Passion



Art as a means of integration


On 10 October 2018 the doors of the MAS were opened to the new section of African ethnographic art. The Museum, after years of careful investigation and selection, opens the new 4 rooms dedicated to the private collection of Gottfried Matthaes that the children, Peter and Patrizia, have very well guarded and, today, enhanced through an educational and cultural path, which highlights the passion that this family has for art and sharing.

IMG_6244You can visit the 4 rooms dedicated to African Ethnographic Art, where you can admire the beauty of the collection: statues, thrones, fabrics, drums, cult objects and obviously many masks expression of the incredible variety of shapes, colors, types and uses, bearers of meanings, avatars of spirits, controllers, judges and guardians.

” The project  “Meeting with the oracle” was made to get an idea of ​​what the real function of these objects is – explains Peter Matthaes, director of MAS – Through a suggestive setting that refers to the Forest of Spirits and thanks to the ‘use of modern technology, and specifically the virtual reality, we tried to bring to life a possible experience of “contact with the world of spirits” at 360 degrees “.

In the Forest of Spirits you can wear a mask to which a virtual reality viewer has been applied. You will immerse yourself in a forest where a spirit, in the guise of a turtle, (we chose this animal in reference to the mythological spirit Evu of the Fang from Gabon and a mask Ingil always of Fang) will follow and lead us to two possible scenarios : a positive one and freedom, the other negative and imprisonment, reminding us that these masks also have a function of judgment, that is to say, they are used to issue sentences.IMG-20181011-WA0003

Another new initiative is “The object of the month”. Each month a different object is exhibited and the public can express their opinion. Crowdsourcing wants to be a step forward to change the perspective. The expert joins the community of African ethnographic art enthusiasts, an increasingly informed community, more and more prepared and whose extension has less and less boundaries and can directly involve the African person, approaching a historical change of perspective. The art told and seen no longer from the western but from the African. A nice opportunity for integration.

When we hear about Africa, especially through the media, too often we hear only the most disturbing news, those that frighten us and very few are the chances of receiving positive news.

20181010_180817“We want to talk about African art to emphasize how Africans are a group of people rich in history and culture – concludes Peter Matthaes – we want to emphasize the artistic and human sensitivity of this people, we want to transmit the respect they deserve and the right to diversity” .

Provenance of objects

The objects of the Matthaes collection have, as often happens for large collections, a very heterogeneous origin. The objects have in fact been purchased directly from the Auction Houses, from specialized galleries both Italian and international and in a small part also from other Italian collectors.IMG-20181011-WA0016

Each object has been analyzed by the laboratory of the museum through analysis of scientific dating, both microscopic and often chemical study of the patina, allowing to make a very accurate selection and thus increasing the overall quality of the entire collection.