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Art exhibitions generally hold a steadfast role to contemporary audiences. These exhibitions are inspired by historical stories of pioneering arts that portray a unique and fascinating story. The Museum of Fine Arts is one location whose visitors gain an experience and appreciation of the; artists’ techniques, natural history and how their relevant pieces have increasingly contributed to making connections between people across time and space. The MFAH art collections and exhibitions presented in the Fayez and Susan campus is among the 10 largest art collection in the United States. From Renaissance sculptures to contemporary works, MFAH The museum contains a collection of more than 60000 works of art that dates back to antiquity and also the present. There are special galleries devoted to arts of Europe, Asia, African and America exhibitions.
One of the most fascinating exhibition is the African art collection that features 2500 years of African art. In this exhibition, part of the peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Pacific Islands and North, Central, and South America are featured. The collecting areas include Arts of Africa, Arts of Oceania, Pre-Columbian Art, Native American Art, and the Special Collections. The Arts of Africa features art from the diverse African continent that dates back to 500 BC up to the present. The masterpieces include masks, sculptures, headdresses, textiles, and objects from different cultures, regions, and countries. There is one stunning masterpiece of a cast metal of the king of the Court of Benin with a historical description of its relevance to the kingdom of Benin. The art is therefore crucial in understanding the importance of the divine ruler for whom gifted craftsmen produced the significant cast metal for their supreme ruler. It is interesting to note that a range of ceremonial significant objects worn by the king signified his full complexity to the cultural perceptions of the people from the kingdom of Benin that existed from (1440-1897).
Many of the artworks present in this gallery were created for the reinforcement of the prestigious ranks of the rulers and were often ceremonial to indicate their status. Moreover one special art collection id the Glassel collection in the Pre Columbian Gold era. The Houston collector Alfred Glassell pursued the betterment of his community and through his education was fascinated by art objects and gold for its monetary value. At the time (1913), gold was a form of exchange for goods and services and also was used for spiritual purposes. As one goes through the series of golden sculptures, masks, and headdresses, history reveals itself through a revelation of the early cultures. Additionally, the Glassell collection of Pre-Columbian Gold that played a crucial role in South America and Ancient Central. As the exhibits suggest, the ancient Americans valued gold due to its shiny characteristics and its rarity that made it be regarded as a symbol of spiritual power. A range of rare and exquisite feathers, textiles, wood, and stones are also present at this exhibit thereby radiating mystery on their role in ancient and South America.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
In the Houston Museum of Natural Science, there is a section dedicated to the diversity and extraordinary achievements of America’s indigenous people. Moreover, the continuity of Americas’ traditions is preserved and displayed for all visitors to see and comprehend the history of the Native Americans. There are a collection of pottery, bead-work, kachina dolls, pre-Colombian gold and other culinary objects that were associated with ancient Native Americans. One of the items on display is the Halibut hook collected in Northwest California. These show the importance of early tools to the earliest American population during 1900. At the time, hooks were carved and decorated in ways that could attract fish. From this exhibit, it is clear about the economic activity of the Northwest Coast people. Fishing was a means of livelihood for the people leaving in the area and this tool at the museum shows its historical significance to the people in the Northwest coast.
Additionally, there is an Inuit on display at the exhibit that was collected from the period of (1875-1900). The Inuit was considered a woman’s blade that was used to cut and skin off animals hides before the early European contact. Before colonialization of Alaska, the people used to make tools for their daily use from rocks such as slates that were common in the area. Moreover, other spearhead and tools carved out of the sate rock is evident I the exhibit showing the economic activity of the earliest Americans before the period of colonization. Among the oldest tool present is the Paleo-Indian and the Clovis points used by the Native Americans to hunt large games like mastodons and mammoths during the period of 11000 BC.
Another masterpiece present in this section is the Kwakwaka’wakw. This was a Northwest coast mask used during ceremonial occasions by dancers while summoning the ancestors. In the piece, it was believed that a raven could change into human form. The Native Americans mythology asserted that humans were once animals until they lost the ability to communicate and shed their animal skin. The dancers, Shamans were believed to possess the power to talk to animals and spirits, therefore, gaining secret knowledge about their communities. The permanent exhibit of the Native American culture not only takes a visitor through a historical journey about the past but also tells more about the social, economic and religious activity of the earliest Americas.
The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum
The Buffalo soldier’s museum gives the visitors a touch of American history during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The museum is solely dedicated to preserve, perpetuate and promote the legacy of the brave women and men that died, bled and fought in defense of America. African Americans that served proudly in the American War of 1866 through an act of Congress are honored in this museum. The museum moreover, creates and disseminates the knowledge about the history of the Buffalo soldiers and their defense services in the development of America. Appearances, exhibits, galleries, historical research and educational programs are encompassed in the museum’s mission in teaching America’s history through the “Buffalo Soldiers.”
It is therefore evident from the tour that the term Buffalo soldiers are black soldiers involved in all of America’s military campaigns and wars dating back to 1707. At the time, more than 5000 black men served in the army during the American revolutionary war and thousands of others fought on the sea and land in the war of 1812. Moreover, in the Civil Wars African Americans, soldiers fought for the freedom and dignity of America following the slavery disputes between the pro-slavery South and the anti-slavery North. In this museum, galleries of the 9th and 10th regiments that opened up the frontier of the title the “Buffalo Soldiers” in the Union army in 1867. What is interesting is how the soldiers came to be termed as the “Buffalo soldiers.”
In 1867, the lives of the Native Americans revolved around the buffalo. Food, shelter, weapons, and clothing were all acquired from buffalos. Moreover, whenever a buffalo was injured, it fought ferociously for its life and they ever gave up. Similarly, the Native Americans saw the same spirit in the African American soldiers. Moreover, the mane of the buffalo resembles the curvy hairs of the African Americans that fought in the 10th regiment. Therefore the spirit and the mane would, therefore, be regarded as the wild buffalo and therefore became the source for the term buffalo soldiers.
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