Permanent Collection - Appleton Museum of Art


Most of the African art in the Appleton Museum is from the collection of the late Dr. Victor David DuBois of New York City. After DuBois's untimely death, the core of his collection was purchased by Arthur Appleton. The DuBois Collection is significant because it is so well-documented and because DuBois personally selected and researched each piece when he lived in Africa for an extended time. Many pieces were obtained in the field directly from the people who made and used them. The collection spans most of the cultures of west and central Africa. Some notable examples from the collection are a Mand Bamana stool from Mali, a rare Senufo side-blown trumpet from Upper Volta, and a rare Yoruba Gelede mask from the Republic of Benin.


The Appleton Museum of Art contains a collection that is known for its diversity, and the selection of Asian works is no exception. The museum holds religious and secular works from China, India, Japan, Tibet, and Southeast Asia. Hindu art is depicted by several fine Indian sculptures of the 10th to 12th centuries. Buddhist art is represented by Indian, Tibetan, Thai, and Burmese sculpture and textiles. The Chinese works feature a number of good ceramic pieces. A fascinating area of the Asian collection is devoted to the art of Japan. The museum's Japanese collection includes a variety of netsukes, a cast bronze sculpture of a samurai, examples of export ceramics, and an elegant palanquin.


The second floor of The Appleton Museum of Art is devoted to a significant collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. Among the works are examples of nineteenth century realism by painters Bouguereau, Gérôme, and Cot and sculptors Carrier-Belleuse and Carpeaux. There are landscapes by Barbizon painters Rousseau, Dupre, and Diaz de la Peña and romantic sculptures by Rodin and Barye. There are fine ceramics from Meissen, Wedgewood, and Sèvres as well as nineteenth century European and American art glass. The collection is based on a solid foundation of academic art with a fine sampling of avant-garde pieces.


The Appleton Museum of Art possesses more than one hundred pieces of Islamic pottery dating from the eighth to the eighteenth century. An array of bowls, jars, ewers, jugs, and dishes exemplify various indigenous and Chinese influences. The collection also includes notable twelfth-century bronzes such as basins with incised floral decorations, candle stands pierced in filigree, hinged incense burners, and mirrors cast with geometric patterns, inscriptions, and mythical figures. There are fine examples of Turkman jewelry made of beaten silver inset with semi-precious stones.


The oldest work of Pre-Columbian art in the Appleton Museum of Art is a ceramic female figurine from the coastal Ecuadorian Valdivia culture (ca. 2000 BC). The Appleton collection contains a broad selection of such figurines from many countries along with numerous examples of other ceramic forms. Some of the museum's most outstanding ceramic figures are from the Late Pre-Classic period in West Mexico and the Classic and Late Classic Periods in Eastern Mexico (Veracruz). The museum also holds excellent examples of Mayan art in the form of ceremonial bowls and figurines. Two fine Tairona blackware effigy urns from Colombia highlight the collection. From Peruvian cultures, Chavÿn blackware, burnished pieces of the Nazca, a fine group of Moche ceramics, and other later examples comprise an engaging view of pre-conquest America. Gold and jade objects are represented by a series of Mayan and Costa Rican jade ornaments and a magnificent gold eagle pendant from the Veraguas area of Panama.

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