Museum Exhibits


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The Holmes Museum of Anthropology and the Ulrich Museum of Art have combined their resources to provide a wonderful dual venue to show the works of the Downing Collection of Asmat Art to their best advantage. The exhibitions are titled: “Spirit Journeys: Art of the Asmat”, at the Ulrich Museum and “Spirit Journeys: Ritual and Ceremony Among the Asmat at the Holmes Museum.

Holmes Museum of Anthropology

The exhibit at the Holmes Museum has been designed and constructed by students under Jerry Martin’s supervision with a strong interpretive and cultural approach.  The design includes a reconstruction of a men’s house used for a mask ceremony that was observed and photographed by the 2001 collection team.  A number of mannequins have been placed in the reconstructed house to represent as masked spirits, singers, and dancers. Visitors will view large carvings under construction through a back window. A small family house has also been constructed to display household activities and goods of Asmat women. A third area exhibits carvings and ceremonial objects using large photographs as background. The entire exhibition floor area is planked to reproduce the raised walkways used in an Asmat village. A special area has been set up for a continuous running of an introductory video that includes footage taken professional films as well as photographs taken by the 2001 expedition team. Expedition photographs are also on display in the south stairwell photo gallery of Neff Hall.

Ulrich Museum of Art

The Curator of Exhibits of the Ulrich Museum has designed and installed the museum's exhibition with the collaboration of staff from the Holmes Museum.

Design and Layout by Judith A. Wolfe and Cathy Moore-Jansen, Collection Development, Ablah Library
Wichita State University Libraries, 1845 Fairmount Wichita, KS 67260-0068 Tel: 316-978-3481
Images courtesy of Jerry Martin, Director of Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology, Dept. of Anthropology, Wichita State University