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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Oceanian ➔ Figure

Carved wood figure consisting of a human with arms and legs splayed outward and bent. The human's arms and head support a second layer, which consists of two sideways-facing human or animal figures sitting on logs or tails. A final, uppermost layer has two abstract human shapes sitting back to back, with a large round hole in each torso. Both the obverse and reverse are decorated with white geometric designs.

Chalk inlay is characteristic of this region. Note: The carving bears a string-attached tag that is inscribed on one side "Col. Bowman" and on the other side "Kirwina Isl. off sg(?) New Guinea"  Meaning it was likely made in the Kiriwina Islands of Papua New Guinea.  
Carved Wood
15.75" h 5.4" w 1.9" d
Current Location Status:
In Storage
Gift Of Mrs. Charles R. Bowman

Journey Through The Pacific (February 4 – June 1 2017)
Oceania is one name for the vast region of our Earth that stretches across the Pacific Ocean from Australia to Hawaii and Easter Island. Although it is dominated by water, Oceania is made up of more than 10,000 islands and is currently home to more than 40 million people. These remote islands were some of the last places on earth to be settled by humans. The migration and settlement of the Pacific Islands is one of the greatest stories of exploration and discovery in human history.

Oceania has many distinct and impressive, yet often little known, artistic traditions. Although they vary widely across the region, these traditions share a focus on the use of traditional methods and available materials which have been passed down over centuries. From sturdy wooden tools to delicate barkcloth textiles, these beautiful objects serve a variety of utilitarian and ceremonial purposes for the people who made and used them.

Mrs. Charles R. Bowman

James A. Straub
James A. Straub was a Collections department volunteer and Collection Committee Member at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, offering his services as an art historian. Among his many life accomplishments were his family, and serving in the United States Marine Corps, including a 13-month tour of duty in Vietnam. His list of achievements include 27 years as Detective Lieutenant from the Kent County Sheriff's Department, Original Catalogue Director of the Mathias Alten Catalogue Raisonne, and providing significant contributions to the book, Mathias Alten: Journey of an American Painter.

Jim was honored to have been appointed by Gov. Milliken to the Board of Forensic Polygraph Examiners and by the GR mayor to the GR Historical Commission. Additionally, Jim served as President of the Command Officers Bargaining Unit at the Kent County Sheriff's Department and Vice President of the GR Historical Society. Along with his dedicated service to GRPM Jim was also a member of the Board of Kent County Employees Credit Union, the Kent County Pension Board, the Art Advisory Committee for Butterworth Hospital, the Acquisitions Committee at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the GVSU Gordon Gallery Advisory Committee.

Related Place
Papua New Guinea
Related Object