Ruth K. Franklin Lecture on the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Meaning, Continuity, and Change in the Wooden Statuary of Flores Island (Indonesia)

Thursday May 20, 2010, at 5:30 pm

Stanford, CA --- On Thursday, May 20, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents this year’s Ruth K. Franklin Lecture on the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. The speaker --- social-cultural anthropologist Gregory Forth from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta --- has worked with the Nage and Keo peoples of the central Flores Island (Indonesia) for 25 years. In this lecture, “Meaning, Continuity, and Change in the Wooden Statuary of Flores Island (Indonesia),” Forth talks about the various kinds of significance attached to Indonesian village statuary.

Forth’s ethnographic fieldwork focuses on the wooden statuary found in central Florenese villages, which is mostly comprised of forked sacrificial posts and human and animal figures associated with particular forms of vernacular architecture. During the last century, these animal and human figures have come to be included in museum collections in both Europe and North America. Forth discusses the meaning of specific forms of statuary, their sociological, ritual, and symbolic significance, and their possible connection to figures found in other parts of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. He also looks at how the tradition of Florenese statuary over the last 100 years informs the meanings attached to these works by the local people.

Ruth Franklin was the first Phyllis Wattis Curator for the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Cantor Arts Center, and her curatorial work significantly strengthened the Center’s collection. In 2002, an anonymous donor endowed the Ruth K. Franklin Fund for Lectures and Symposia on the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Memorial gifts from numerous donors also supported the Franklin Fund, which makes possible an annual lecture or symposium in perpetuity. The Center presented the first Ruth K. Franklin Symposium in 2003.

This year’s lecture begins at 5:30 pm in the Cantor Arts Center auditorium. The public is welcome. Admission is free, with open seating. For more information, call 650-725-3115 or visit the Center’s Web site at museum.stanford.edu.

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VISITOR INFORMATION: Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am - 5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm. Admission is free. The Center is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 pm weekdays and all day on weekends. Information: 650-723-4177, museum.stanford.edu.

Publicity Photos: Contact PR Assistant Manager Margaret Whitehorn, 650-724-3600, mmwhite@stanford.edu, for high-resolution images to publicize the lecture.



Franklin

Nage people, Flores, Indonesia, 20th C.
Equestrian Figure Representing a Male Ancestor, detail (Javd Keda Riding the Male Horse Keda) Wood. Museum purchase, in memory of Ruth K. Franklin with funds given by the Christensen Fund, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University