One of the most extensive collections of African gold in the world, the Glassell Collection was donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 1997 by Houston businessman and philanthropist Alfred C. Glassell Jr.
Dating from the 19th and 20th centuries, the collection is made up of more than 900 artworks representing African cultures and traditions, primarily focusing on the Akan peoples of West Africa, and featuring crowns, jewelry, sandals, swords and staffs used by royalty and court officials in a variety of ceremonies and festivals.
“I have loved these inventive designs and wonderful animals for decades,” stated the late Alfred C. Glassell Jr, who died in 2008, at the age of 95. “It’s not just they are made of gold, but that the artwork seems so alive and vital.”
Tracy Saucier, director of the Beeville Museum, said, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the African gold and grateful to the MFA for sharing this world-class collection.”
The exhibition, featuring a selected portion of the collection, has traveled nationally and internationally from 2001 to 2008, and was on view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Louisiana State University Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Pearl Fincher Museum in Spring, Texas, the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., and The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Russia.
The Beeville Art Museum, created and operated by the Joe Barnhart Foundation, is located at 401 E. Fannin St. and is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. To contact the museum, call 358-8615 or visit the website at www.bamtexas.org.