In the early 1960s, the founding members of EAC – collectors, scholars, and art dealers – recognized the need for more education and information exchange in this emerging field of ethnic/tribal art. Museums were not focused in this area and little literature existed about Pre-Columbian, Oceanic, or African art. Seizing the initiative, this energetic group began funding, writing catalogues, and loaning/donating to museum artifacts from their own collections. Today, the EAC is a vibrant organization of over 200 collectors, art dealers, and enthusiasts who meet year-long in programs and activities focused on ethnic and tribal art.
Important CONTRIBUTIONS of the EAC include:
- Authored two publications - Art of Vera Cruz (1970) and Anecdotal Art of West Mexico (1972); underwrote the first Pre-Columbian Animals exhibition (1974) at the Natural History Museum.
- Helped establish the Pre-Columbian Hall at the Natural History Museum through donated or loaned materials.
- Initiated the African and Pre-Columbian Art collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) through donations and sales.
- Created a Grants Program that has dispensed several hundred thousand dollars to support research, publications, exhibitions, travel, and ethnic arts related projects over the past 40 years. Some recent EAC museum grants include:
- Fowler Museum: Permanent Gallery – Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2004; Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya Exhibit, 2008; Central Nigeria Unmasked: Art of the Benue River Valley Exhibit, 2010
- LACMA: Lords of Creation – Origins of Maya Kingship Exhibit, 2004; Children of the Plumed Serpent – Heroes and Ancestors of Ancient Mexico, 2011
- Bowers Museum: Gallery Guide to Queen of Sheba Exhibit, 2004
- Pacific Asia Museum: Tibetan Furniture in Religious and Secular Life Exhibit, 2004
- Southwest Museum: Katsina Imagery in Hopi Life, Carvings in Diorama, 2006
- CAFAM: Healing: A Cultural Exploration Exhibit, 2006; Myths, Legends and Visions: A Fifty-Year Retrospective of the Art of Dora DeLarios Exhibit, 2008
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