Collection of Ceramics and Other Works of Decorative Art from Burkina Faso Donated to the Ethnologisches Museum

Museum Europäischer Kulturen

The importance of ceramic receptacles from West and Central Africa for museum collections in Europe and North America has seen a strong rise in recent years. This increased interest is evinced in particular through the broader shifts in public attitudes towards works of decorative art. Because of this, the donation by the Förderkreis für Bildung, Kultur und internationale Beziehungen Reinickendorf e.V. of this extensive collection of ceramic receptacles and other works of decorative art from Burkina Faso is a huge gain for the Ethnologisches Museum of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

The Collection

This extensive collection was initiated in 1997 by members of the Förderkreis, and provides a prime example of the engagement of so many people in Berlin for the culture of African countries more broadly, and for the region’s decorative arts in particular. The collection provides an outstanding overview of the state of ceramic arts, weaving and lost-wax casting in Burkina Faso in the late 20th century. Additionally, it encompasses works of weaving, ironwork and carving, as well as objects created by basket weavers and drum-makers from various regions in Burkina Faso, objects which play an important role in the everyday life of this West African country.

“We are so pleased that with the donation of this significant collection of objects from West Africa, we have been able to add a new and important focus to the collection of the Ethnologisches Museum. This is a first-rate collection, which was gathered together by the energetic members of the Förderkreis through purchases made directly from the producers in cities, villages, and at markets. The collection offers scholars and the general public alike the opportunity to gain insights into the diverse forms of decorative art in Burkina Faso”, comments Jonathan Fine, curator for the West Africa, Cameroon, Gabon and Namibia collections at the Ethnologisches Museum of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.