MemberKristi M. Peterson

*Copies of all materials available upon request Dissertation:  “Consumption and Construction:  Devotional Images and the Place of Empire in Postclassic Mexico, 1325-1521” (2017) Research interests include:  The sacred image and devotional objects in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, the visual cultures of the Americas, Colonial and European representations of New World sacra and ritual, global modernisms, theories of representation, and the construction of narratives of place and cultural identity through the art object. Phone:  (518)580-5057 Address:  Skidmore College Filene Building 815 North Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

DepositArt and Fetish in the Anthropolgy Museum

Sónia Silva is an Associate Professor of anthropology at Skidmore College. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Zambia, as well as museum work in Europe and the USA, Silva’s research deals with materiality, material religion, the notion of the fetish, ritual and religion, divination, witchcraft, violence, and museums. Silva is the author of Along an African Border: Angolan Refugees and Their Divination Baskets (Penn Press 2011) ABSTRACT Between the 1920s and early 1980s an increasing number of African art exhibitions opened to the public in Western Europe and North America. In these exhibitions African religious objects such as masks and wooden figurines were reframed as modern-ist art. Focusing on the illustrative case of the National Ethnolo-gy Museum in Lisbon, Portugal, this article shows that these Afri-can art exhibitions offered a powerful alternative to the colonial, religious concept of the fetish. Early scholars of comparative re-ligion claimed that the primitive fetish worshippers were unable to grasp the idea of transcendence. By elevating African religious objects (the so-called fetishes) to the transcendental realm of modernist art, curators of African art helped dispel the colonial concept of the fetish, and change mindsets and worldviews. In their struggle against the notion of the fetish, these curators also engaged with the concepts of art, culture and religion. Mounted on pedestals and bathed by light, the African religious objects became modernist cult objects: cultural artifacts elevated to a higher plane of religious and aesthetic spirituality.

MemberMargaret D Banks

…ic Study,” 1981.
M.A. in musicology with emphasis in ethnomusicology and organology, State University of New York at Binghamton.  Thesis: “The Modern Greek Lyra:  An Organological Study of the Lyra Collection of Sam Chianis, Binghamton, New York,” 1974.

B.S. in Music Education, Summa Cum Lauda, Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, New York), 1972.  Several undergraduate courses taken at Colgate University (Hamilton, New York), through collaborative exchange program with Skidmore College, 1970-1972….

Associate Director, Senior Curator of Musical Instruments and Professor of Music, National Music Museum & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments, The University of South Dakota.  1978-present. Responsibilities include:  overseeing care and academic interpretation of objects, materials, and specimens belonging to the Museum; cataloging of museum collections, including scholarly determination of classification, dating, and provenance; conducting research about the Museum’s collections and publishing the results of that research; conducting research that will lead to the discovery of new knowledge or new applications of existing knowledge; teaching graduate-level courses in the history and technology of musical instruments (for unique M.M. degree with specialization in the history of musical instruments) and Museum Studies; and creation, development, and maintenance of website. Specialist in 19th-20th-century American Musical Instrument Manufacturing, particularly the C. G. Conn company of Elkhart, Indiana, and other Midwestern musical instrument manufacturers.