WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2017/2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/897427

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Page 84 of 195

had studied art in Paris, which abounded in traditional artifacts from the French colonies in Western Africa. The Klejmans' donations range from tiny weights used for measuring gold powder to ceremonial masks. Illustrating proverbs, the weights depict intriguing scenes like an execu- tioner with a decapitated head or a child with a tarantula. Displaying the masks presented a design challenge. "They were never meant to be sculptures," says Whitner. "These would have been part of dynamic display, meant to move." For one ritual, a male dancer would don a large mask, supported by his shoulders, to personify ideals of female power and mother- hood. Known as a D'mba, the mask is exhibited at the height at which it would have been worn and is positioned at an angle to suggest action. The mask comes from the Baga people na- tive to the coastal area of what is now Guinea. Large historical maps accompany many gal- leries, showing the geographic relationship of several different cultures. * * * On the last landing before the stairs reach the top floor is a whimsical sculpture that literally flips the genre of still life on its head. A bou- left: View of the fourth-floor European galleries surrounding the central lightwell. middle: A D'mba, a wooden shoulder mask from the Baga culture, in one of the galleries of West African art. right: Art from Oceania and East Asia on the second floor. P H O T O S B Y S T E V E B R I G G S P H O T O G R A P H Y 83 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8

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