Celebration: A World of Art and Ritual

March 17, 1982 – July 10, 1983

Renwick Gallery
1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Part I, 1st Floor; Part II, 2nd Floor

On view in a 2-part exhibition are some 600 objects used in celebrations among 62 cultural groups around the world. The exhibition draws from the collections of nine Smithsonian museums.

Part I includes masks and costumes as well as objects related to sound and music, dancing, feasting, games and sports, and rites of passage--birth and initiation, courtship and marriage, death. Among the objects on view are:

  • a baseball autographed by the 1952 World Series' Brooklyn Dodgers
  • a funerary vase used beside Lincoln's catafalque
  • an Apache girl's buckskin puberty cape
  • a double-cupped drinking horn from Taiwan
  • a pelican bone flute necklace from Panama
  • a pressure drum from Nigeria
  • an Eskimo grave post from Alaska
  • a groom's headdress from India

Part II features shrines, altars, and other religious objects; celebration of harvest and industry.

Guest curator is Victor Turner, Professor of Anthropology, University of Virginia; organized by Renwick Gallery and Smithsonian's Office of Folklife Programs.

Catalogue: Parts I & II

Checklists, Parts I & II

Calendar and posters also available.

Book: Fairs & Festivals, a Smithsonian Guide to Celebrations in Md., Va., and D.C.,

Book by guest curator