The special exhibit “The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky” opens today at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. Ohio’s State Artifact, the Adena Effigy Pipe, is a featured artifact in the exhibition. The exhibit label for the pipe reads, in part “… This effigy evokes an ancestral deity or a mythic hero, a spiritual mediator between the animal powers and the sacred forces of nature. It represents a standing young man, whose headdress is the mouthpiece of the pipe, while the pipe passes through its body and the bowl is adjacent to its feet. This ancient pipe of the Woodlands announces carved objects of the same workmanship that will mark the Plains culture hundreds of years later…” In the catalog for a similar exhibition organized in the 1970s by what was then the Nelson Gallery of Art, Ralph Coe wrote that the “famous Adena effigy pipe” was “the most celebrated example of North American archaeology.” The Ohio Historical Society is pleased and honored to have this masterpiece of ancient American Indian art featured so prominently in this international exhibition.

Curator of Archaeology Brad Lepper and Registrar of Collections Lesley Poling stand on either side of the case displaying the Adena Effigy Pipe.

If you miss the opportunity to see the exhibition in Paris you’ll have two other chances. From Paris, it travels to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City where it will be on display from September 19, 2014 to January 11, 2015. It then moves to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from March 2 to May 17, 2015. My thanks to Adria Seccareccia for her assistance with the translation of the French exhibit label. Brad Lepper

Posted April 8, 2014
Topics: Archaeology

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