Three Exhibitions from the de Young Museum
Three exhibits at the de Young Museum testify that the collective unconscious is alive and well in San Francisco.
On until 1 April 2018, ‘Revelations: Art from the African American South’ blends the Fine Arts Museums collection of southern African American art with the sensational acquisition of 62 sculptures, paintings, drawings and quilts from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation’s William S. Arnett collection. Photographs documenting critical events in the civil rights movement, stunning and masterful Gee’s Bend quilts, and dynamic sculptures, paintings and drawings address a seriously under-represented area of museum collecting: the culture and experience of Southern African Americans. This exhibition deeply and evocatively explores this history of slavery, generational tensions, class and gender, Jim Crow racism, white supremacy, daily life, HIV/AIDS and spirituality.
Also ending on 1 April 2018, ‘Maori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand’ is the first major exhibit in the U.S. focusing on Maori leaders, elders, warriors and politicians. Gottfried Lindauer was a Czech citizen who trained in Europe, before permanently emigrating to Australia, and his powerful and spiritual works superbly capture the turbulent history, social and political change between 1874 and 1903. To open the exhibit, which is accompanied by a BBC documentary, Maori elders and leaders travelled to San Francisco to share their history, culture, stories and knowledge.
Open through 11 February 2018, ‘Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire’ is a spectacular blockbuster display of four centuries of political, economic and religious history of this cosmopolitan city as the hub of Mesoamerica. Resulting from a 30-year collaboration between Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the exhibition features 200 extraordinary objects, recently excavated from a tunnel underneath the Feather Serpent Pyramid. These include monumental ritual sculptures and murals of Teotihuacan’s ancestors, the storm, sun, maize, water, fire gods and objects from a range of residential compounds illustrating Teotihuacan’s vibrant diversity of class and culture.