Brown Logo

Office of Media Relations
38 Brown Street / Box R
Providence RI 02912

401 863-2476
Fax 863-9595

Distributed May 3, 2006
Contact Deborah Goldstein

Believing Africa
Haffenreffer Museum Opens Second On-Campus Exhibition

Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology will open its second on-campus exhibition, Believing Africa, on Saturday, May 27, 2006, in its satellite gallery at Manning Hall. The exhibition, focusing on the diversity of African spiritual beliefs, was co-curated by Brown graduate and undergraduate students.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University’s Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology will open its second on-campus exhibition, Believing Africa, on Saturday, May 27, 2006. The exhibition, focusing on African spiritual beliefs, will be on display in the museum’s satellite gallery at Manning Hall, located on The College Green. The opening coincides with Commencement Weekend.

Cameroon Masks

Royal Society Masks
Cameroon; wood, pigment.
Mid-20th century.
Gift of Paula D. Rice.
Image: Kenneth C. Zirkel

Drawing on the ethnographic collections of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and other sources, the exhibition aims to explore the ways that Africans, today and in past generations, call on local and global religious traditions for meaning and answers to questions about sickness and health, wealth and poverty, war and peace, power and helplessness, birth, death, and what lies beyond. Believing Africa is co-curated by museum staff, Brown faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students.

“Throughout this process, the museum curatorial and design staff has helped the students grow into their curatorial role,” said Shepard Krech III, professor of anthropology and director of the museum. “It’s been a welcome opportunity for students to test and defend their ideas in the real world of negotiation, team work and tight deadlines; a chance for museum staff to reach the Providence and Brown communities as we begin our second year in the new satellite space on The College Green.”

Sande Mask

Sande Society Mask, “Vombo Chiso”
Vai People, Liberia. Early 20th century.
Gift of Mr. Peter and Dr. Anita Klaus, 1996.
Image: Haffenreffer Museum

The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Manning Hall, the satellite gallery of the Haffenreffer Museum’s main base in Bristol, R.I., opened in May 2005. The gallery is accessible from Prospect Street and is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except during University holidays. It will also be open on the third Thursday of each month, from 5 to 9 p.m., as part of Gallery Night Providence.

The Haffenreffer Museum’s main base in Bristol houses more than 100,000 artifacts from the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The family of Rudolf Haffenreffer donated the land and buildings to Brown University in 1955. On-going exhibitions in the Bristol museum’s galleries include Kayak, Umiak, Canoe; Packrats for Posterity? Relevance in the Anthropological Museum; and Hopi Katsina Dolls: Ancestor Spirit Carvings. The main museum in Bristol is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer months and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. the rest of the year. For further information, please call (401) 253-8388 (Bristol) or (401) 863-2065 (Providence).


Media Relations Home  |  Top of File  |  e-Subscribe  |  Brown Home Page