This exhibition features selections from the nearly 3,000 traditional and contemporary objects from the American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of Saint Thomas. The Asmat people live in a vast coastal plain on the southwest coast of the island of New Guinea in modern-day Indonesia and are renowned as among the finest and most prolific wood sculptors in the Pacific Islands.
The American Crosier Fathers and Brothers began acquiring this collection of Asmat art in 1958 through purchase, trade, and as gifts while serving as missionaries in the region. The University of Saint Thomas became the home of the American Museum of Asmat Art collection in 2007. It is now one of this country’s pre-eminent teaching collections, used by undergraduate and graduate students in the Art History and Museum Studies programs at the University to explore the common humanity of global peoples through art.