ARH309 Reading Notes Wk 4

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University of Toronto St. George
Justin Jennings

Ethics ReadingsWeek 41GriffinCollecting PreColumbian ArtCollecting art is an ancient and timehonored practicePrivate collections often enhance materials collected by archaeologistsPrivate collectors are often scholars concerned with certain cultural aspects of a civilizationoConcerned with making assemblages that will make a point or amplify our picture of the ancient world and its way of perceiving thingsBoth the archaeologist and the private collector assemble materials and attempt to deduce certain ideas about the ancient civilization from themoDifference is that archaeologists has the privilege of working directly on the ground while private collectors salvages what others have found and holds it in trust for future generationsCollecting is an ancient artgoes back to the Hellenistic times or earlier and throughout history in every civilizationoOld private collections become nuclei of museumsoPrivate collectors become museum patronsPreColumbian art has been in circulation since Cortez sent it back to Europe but Robert Wood Bliss an American is credited to be the first serious collector of PreColumbian material as great artBliss house Dumbarton Oaks turned into a museum for PreColumbian art and there he established an international center with a library and a scholarship foundation oPresent knowledge of iconography epigraphy and the interpretation of archaeological finds has been arrived at thereGeorge G Heye collected the greatest resource of Native American art Museum of Native American Art in NYMiguel Covarrubias a Mexican collector wrote scholarly books on the anthropology archaeology and art of Mexico Central America North America and BalioWorked closely with archaeologists Collecting can open up a whole new worldsparks interest in area makes connections and leads to specializing finding careerArt dealers were generally highly intelligent scholarly and wellinformedCollecting can be positive and beneficialitems used in teaching and scholarly researchPicasso Braque and Matisse brought light to African and Oceanic artMost PreColumbian art are in ethnographic museums
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