Shields in the Barbier-Mueller Museum


Foreword to catalogue

Review of form, function and contextualisation of shields

Shield labels

During 1998 and 1999, BOUCLIERS Afrique, Asie, Insulinde, Océanie du Musée Barbier-Mueller/SHIELDS Africa, Asia, Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific in the Barbier-Mueller Museum
[working title], an exhibition of 100 shields from the collections of the Barbier-Mueller Museum in Geneva, will be held in Paris at the 'Foundation Mona Bismark' [autumn 1998], in Geneva at the Musée d'art et d'histoire [spring 1999] and in Munich at the Haus der Kunst [autumn 1999].

One of the curators of the exhibition, Jean Paul Barbier, explained that of the shields selected from the museum's collections, some had a known provenance and some did not. A number of factors were taken into consideration when selecting shields, including aesthetics, geographical distribution, and cultural importance.

Standard information on the exhibition labels will include:

The exhibition will be arranged roughly geographically. The accompanying catalogue has 250 pages, and includes:

Each shield will have a colour reproduction of the front of the shield and a sketch of the back, a field photograph and/ or a local map, and a page-long description written by the catalogue editors.

We present here some extracts from the forthcoming exhibition catalogue and draft exhibition labels prepared by Benitez Johannot and Jean Paul Barbier, reproduced with the kind permission of the authors. Note that because of the timing of the exhibition and this project the text was taken from early drafts and the final published version may vary. The Pitt Rivers Museum is most grateful to the editors for allowing them access to the texts at such an early stage of the exhibition preparation. Further details about the exhibition or the catalogue should be obtained from Mrs Benitez Johannot at the Musée Barbier-Mueller, 10 rue Jean-Calvin, CH-1204

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