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Mercer Artifacts on Display in Museum Exhibit
February 27, 2004

"Treasures From the Private Collections of Georgia," an exhibit that will be showing at the Museum of Arts and Sciences Feb. 27 to May 9, is featuring 16 artifacts on loan from Mercer's Williams Fielding Ogburn Department of Sociology.

The artifacts are taken from two of Mercer's collections: the Harrison Collection of Costa Rican Artifacts and the Williams Collection of African Artifacts. A Baan Chieng vase from the Bronze Age culture of Northern Thailand is also featured in the exhibit.

Artifacts from the Harrison Collection consist of an array of ceramics (above left), and artifacts from the Williams Collection consist of several fetishes or statues (above right). Once thought to have magical power, like a talisman or good luck charm, they were made by the Yaka people of tribal Africa, present day Zaire.

Museum of Arts and Sciences conservator Alex Klingelhofer said she was extremely pleased that Mercer contributed the 16 objects from the Harrison and Williams collections to the exhibition. "This diversity of Costa Rican ceramics and variety of African fetish figures is very important," she said. "It is a real treat for the public to be able to see them."

The exhibit, which consists of artifacts ranging from cultural textiles, masks, porcelains, glassware, silver, clocks and jewelry to paintings, prints and ceramics, builds on past Museum exhibitions and seeks to provide a window into the world of the collectors and collections that abound in Georgia. It will run through May 9 in conjunctions with two other exhibitions.