FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2017
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Rebecca Marsie, Communications Associate
860.443.2545 x112 / [email protected]
LYMAN ALLYN ART MUSEUM OPENS BANDITS & HEROES, POETS & SAINTS
Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil
New London – This traveling exhibition from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil, explores how the ancient cultures of Africa blended with indigenous and colonial Portuguese traditions to form the vibrant and complex cultural mosaic of modern Brazil. The exhibition will be on view at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum from September 1 through October 20, 2017.
Engaging photographs and works of popular art, including sculptures, paintings, prints, religious objects, toys, and booklets of poetry will draw visitors into the complex and vibrant culture of the Northeast of Brazil and introduce the festivals, heroes, and spiritual traditions that give shape and meaning to the daily lives of the Nordestinos, common people of Brazil’s Northeast. The exhibition explores how diverse traditions come together in the region and uses work by historical and contemporary artists to illuminate the fascinating history that reaches into modern Brazil.
Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints sheds light on the resilience and vitality of modern-day descendants of Africa. Many people do not know that ten times more Africans were brought in bondage into Brazil than into the United States. The Northeast of Brazil has the largest population of those of African descent outside of Africa, which has deeply influenced the culture of present-day Brazil.
Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints is an exhibition in three parts:
- “The Land & its People” presents the complicated history of sugar plantations and African slavery in colonial Brazil. It introduces the parched backlands of the sertão and the challenging life of the vaqueiros (cowboys), retirantes (migrant workers), and the heroes of the ordinary people of the Northeast.
- “Expressions of Faith” presents the rich African-Brazilian religion of Candomblé, exploring its historic African roots and its intersection with Roman Catholicism. Photographs, paintings, and sacred objects show colorful processions, festivals, and pilgrimages of these two religious traditions.
- “Poetry, Celebration & Song” features literatura de cordel (literature on a string) produced by singing poets who “sell” their songs in small chapbooks in markets and fairs. Poetry, prints, and sculptures inspired by folk legends and current events signal the dynamic fusion of tradition and improvisation in the culture of the Northeast.
Throughout the exhibition, the design will make use of colorful immersive environments. Hands-on interactive, music, and video components will combine with large-scale photographs and original artifacts to show the complex history, religious devotion, and artistic expression that come together in the popular art of the Northeast of Brazil.
Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil was curated by Marion E. Jackson, Ph.D. and Barbara Cervenka, O.P., Curators; Con/Vida–Popular Arts of the Americas; and organized by Con/Vida–Popular Arts of the Americas and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI; in partnership with NEH on the Road/Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, MO.
The opening reception will be on Thursday August 31st from 5:00 – 7:00pm. Museum members are free and non-members are $10. Please RSVP to 860.443.2545 ext. 129.
For upcoming Bandits & Heroes events for the whole family, visit our website at www.lymanallyn.org, and the Museum’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Tours of the exhibition are available for groups. To schedule tours, call Director of Education, Caitlin Healy at 860.443.2545 ext. 110 or e-mail [email protected].
For more information or to request images, please contact Rebecca Marsie at 860.443.2545, ext. 112 or at [email protected].
About NEH on the Road
NEH on the Road (NEHOTR) is a fully funded initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, designed to create wider national access to the ideas, themes, and stories explored in major grant-funded NEH exhibitions. Mid-America Arts Alliance has provided the curatorial adaptation, design, production, and tour management of the NEHOTR program since 2002. Each exhibition is designed to fit within 2,000 square feet and features abundant artifacts, integrated didactic panels, banners, and other supporting materials that best reflect the content and scholarship of the original large-scale exhibitions. Learn more at www.nehontheroad.org
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.
About Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. We achieve this primarily through our national traveling exhibition programs, innovative leadership development, and strategic grant making. We are especially committed to enriching the cultural life of historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services. Each year M-AAA’s programs, on average, reach one million people. We believe in more art for more people. Additional information about M-AAA is available at www.maaa.org.
About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.
The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sundays 1:00 – 5:00 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 129 or visit us on Facebook or the web at: www.lymanallyn.org.