“The Ewe Gold Crown” The Ewe is a gold crown is a part of “The Glassell Collection of African Art” collected by, Houston philanthropist Alfred C. Glassell Jr. (1913-2008) Collecting things with culture and diversity, has always been a hobby for him since he was a child. He started off collecting stamps which helped learn the geography of the world. Alfred later became fascinated with gold art objects and had a passion for collecting them also. He enjoyed sharing his collections with the world.
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This is why so many of his ollections are at MFAH (The Museum of Fine Art, Houston) today. Glassell valued the spiritual background behind gold. During the ancient times gold symbolized wealth and power. He had an ambition for seeking artwork with diverse culture long before they achieved popular acclaim. He wanted his remarkable collections to benefit the public, by bring beauty and understanding to the future generations. He spent a lot of his spare time collecting rare artwork from all over the world. Glassell thought of it as his duty to spread his love of art with everyone.
All of his collections represented something to different cultures or was symbolization. The crown represents a mixture of different cultures. Its European style and is depicted with native African animals such as: an elephant and a duiker, and a small antelope. The design reflects the importance of intelligence. The elephant symbolize wisdom and since it the biggest animal it also shows that it’s the ruler of the forest. The fern leaves on the crown convey the message “The chief does not fear insults” because the Akan word for fern and insult is similar.
The crown is 6 % x 7 inches. This crown was made to fit a young prince to honor him. When the prince has this on it serves as protection and power. For centuries, the chiefs of Akan have worn a variety of headdresses, similar to the European -style crowns and helmets. This crown is fashioned from gold sheets. It is pure gold and extremely rare. On the west coast of Africa, gold is an abundant resource. Chiefs used the gold products to promote political unity. They also used it for jewelry, swords, colorful textiles, and headdresses.
Today, few ancient gold works still xist due to trade and war. The remaining artwork is dated from the 19th and 20th century. The Ewe gold crown is one of the remaining artworks. To make the crown, they melt the gold and shape it to form the crown, and then let it is harden. Sometimes the Africans would use the remaining of gold to make other artworks. They didn’t use it to Just make gold crowns; they also would make masks. When someone wore a crown and full costume and dances with the ritual music, that’s when the mask becomes more that a piece of art.
It becomes a powerful spiritual orce. The crown possesses the power during the performance that some people cant look at them during the ritual even if theyre in public while they have the crown on. When deciding on which painting to discuss you should think of what is beautiful to you, is it in good style and how it makes you feel when you see it. The Ewe crown being pure gold gives it authentic beauty. The style is very vintage and rare. Whenever anyone sees a crown they think of a royal family. It might belong to a king, queen, prince or princess.
So when you see the Ewe crown t makes you feel like you are a part of an African royal family. Then you wonder when did they where it, or what type of wardrobe did they wear with it. The artwork engraved on the crown tells a small story of the owner. It lets you know that it’s Just not the ruler of the forest, but a smart one. Glassell probably collected this African art piece because of its beauty, and wanted to know more about the African culture. Adding this crown to his collection will expand his knowledge on the African rituals, and help him educate consumers also.
He probably enjoyed collecting African art, but it was probably hard for him to get information on the artwork. When you learn the story behind the artwork it adds to the great deal you see in it. When Glassell added the Ewe crown to his collection he hoped that it would bring power and protection to the rest of his artwork in the collection. This crown would keep everything in order and bring beauty to his collection. Work cited http://www. mfah. org/art/detail/african-crown/ http://www. mfah. org/art/departments/arts-africa-oceania-and-americas/