From the Han Coray Collection, 1916 -1928
The Coray Collection of the Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich (Museum of Ethnology, Zurich University), is one of the earliest and most significant collections of African art. Assembled by Han Coray – a teacher, gallery owner and publisher in Zurich – the majority of the works were originally acquired during the 1920’s from the renowned Paris art dealer, Paul Guillaume.
Coray’s interest in African art began by 1916 – the first Dada exhibition was in his Zurich gallery in January 1917 and included a number of art premier works from his own collection, as well as a Baule figure on loan from Guillaume. Coray’s galleries were the meeting place for the Dada and avant-garde artists of the period, and among his friends were Hans Arp, Marcel Janco, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Tristan Tzara, Hans Richter, and the two founders of the Cabaret Voltaire, Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings. At this same time, Guillaume was selecting African art works for the collection of A.C. Barnes, the important American collector. The establishment of this core group of African sculptures in Merion, Pennsylvania, was a significant motivation of Coray’s zeal as an African art collector.
Some of the cultures represented in this exhibition include the Dan, Guro and Baule (Ivory Coast); Benin (Nigeria); Fang (Gabon); Yombe (Congo); Mangbetu, Yaka, Pende, Lega, Kuba, Luba, and Songye (Zaire); and Chokwe (Angola).
This pre-existing exhibition was managed and placed internationally by the Art Centre Basel on request of the Völkerkundemuseum der Universität Zürich.
Baden-Baden (Germany), Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (June 22, 1996 – September 01, 1996)
Rosenheim (Germany), Ausstellungszentrum Lokschuppen, (July 17, 1997 – October 26, 1997)
Utica, NY (USA), Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute (March 14, 1998 – September 13, 1998)
Toledo, OH (USA), Toledo Museum of Art (October 22, 1998 – January 03, 1999)
Quebec (Canada), Musée du Quebec (January 27, 1999 – April 05, 1999)
Pittsburgh, PA (USA), Carnegie Museum of Art (May 08, 1999 – July 18, 1999)
Omaha, NE (USA), Joslyn Art Museum (November 20, 1999 – January 23, 2000)
Porto (Portugal), Fundacao de Serralves ( July 20, 2000 – October 01, 2000)
Valencia (Spain), Fundación Bancaja (January 23, 2001 – April 01, 2001)
Lugano (Switzerland), Museo Cantonale d’Arte Lugano (March 15, 2002 – June 30, 2002)
Catalogue Editor: Prof. Dr. Miklós Szalay
The catalogue has been published by Prestel Publishing, Munich 1995.