Showcases

Discover the museum's exhibitions

The permanent exhibition as it used to be exhibited at the Heleneum

The permanent exhibition is located on the first and second floor of the building. The layout of the exhibition is designed as an imaginary geo-cultural journey through the major areas represented in the MCL collections. In every room, visitors can approach and appreciate the works on the basis of the following four themes: the Journey, the Ethnos, an anthropologically relevant Theme and the artistic Style.

Foto gallery

The themes

  • the ''Journey'' to the South Seas and the primitivist “discovery” of ethnic art (from an ethical viewpoint).  At the same time it corresponds to the interior “voyage” taken by European Avant-garde artists  and the actual journey undertaken by the West to the “farthest” East.  The aim of this approach is to highlight the existence of a sort of cultural and stylistic community (koinè) that encompasses the creative expressions of a vast cultural area, and that ranges from Eastern India to Indochina, Southeast Asia, the Hawaiian islands and up to Easter Island;
  • the cultural and social structures which characterized the so-called ''Ethnos'' of our represented artists. Our monographic choice logically focuses on the cultures that are represented by the works in our museum: India, Southeast Asia, Borneo, Asmat, Maprik, the Papuasian Gulf and the Melanesian Island Chain, Sepik, New Ireland and Polynesia;
  • a ''Theme'' of particular anthropological relevance to the worldview of the cultures in question (emic vision);
  • one or more salient characteristics and particularities of the elaborated Style developed by the cultures belonging to different areas within the exhibition.

Aree geografiche e temi

Le opere di ogni sezione espositiva condividono sia un’area geografica e culturale di provenienza, sia un tema narrativo di fondo.
Le figure di antenato della Nuova Guinea, scolpite in enormi tuberi e dipinte a tinte primarie, parlano del prestigio sociale e dell’ordine profondo delle cose.
L’arte dei Naga dell’India del Nord esprime il potere delle forze vitali e spirituali che permettono agli uomini di assicurare il potere sul mondo.
Le opere dei popoli delle Piccole Isole della Sonda, che punteggiano acque impetuose ai confini con l’Oceano Indiano, descrivono il profondo rapporto tra gli uomini e gli antenati cui è affidata la tutela della tradizione.
I Buddha birmani, infine, richiamano gli insegnamenti del Maestro, evocando il progressivo affrancarsi del fedele dalla materialità, verso l’ambita liberazione spirituale.