Dr. Arthur Bourgeois


Permanent Collection

Neckrest from the Yaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The collection and archives of Dr. Arthur Bourgeois is a comprehensive one that includes field research and works collected during his tenure.

The visual spectrum within the corpus of African initiation-related art runs riot in color and expression. Bulging cheeks, eyes, trumpeting noses, flanking ears, paired or clustered vertical projections, and towering cones surmounted with feathers, disks, and images, contribute to this. Staid helmet-masks of wood catch the eye with haunting white or reddened faces riding over thick raffia collars and topped by animal imagery that together leap with the pulsed gesture of the dancer. Yet this particular spectrum of initiation-related art has seldom been exhibited in museums or galleries together with precise information regarding its traditional setting.