The Adena Man effigy pipe, Ohio’s State Artifact, is being featured in an exhibit on The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky organized by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

Adena Pipe at N-A

Replica of the Adena Man effigy pipe at the entrance to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

The exhibit opens on April 8 at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris, France, where it will be on display until July 20. From Paris, the exhibit moves to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art from September 24 to January 11. The traveling exhibit concludes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from March 1 through May 17, 2015. Although the Adena Man effigy pipe is not an example of Plains Indian art, aspects of this ancient carving, such as the elaborate feather bustle worn by the man, become important elements of Plains Indian regalia many centuries later. Earlier this week, the Ohio Historical Society’s Registrar, Lesley Poling, and I traveled to the Nelson-Atkins Museum to make sure the Adena Man had arrived safely. He had, indeed, and he’s just about ready for the international tour! The Nelson-Atkins’ staff will design a mount and case for the effigy pipe and take photographs for the exhibit catalog. Watch this space for updates on the travels of Ohio’s Adena Man effigy pipe as he introduces the world to one of the most stunning artistic achievements of Ohio’s ancient American Indian cultures.

Adena Pipe inspection N-A

OHS Registrar Lesley Poling and Paul Benson, Nelson-Atkins’ Conservator of Objects, inspects the Adena Man effigy pipe.

This isn’t the Adena Man’s first trip to the Nelson-Atkins. The pipe also was featured in the 1977 exhibit Sacred Circles. In the catalog for that exhibit, the director of the museum referred to the Adena Man effigy pipe as “the most celebrated example of North American archaeology.” I look forward to reading what the catalog for the new exhibit will have to say about this unique effigy pipe. Brad Lepper

Posted October 15, 2013
Topics: Archaeology

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