LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Art lovers will have a new reason to visit Epcot beginning in September when the Walt Disney World theme park opens its sixth gallery, American Heritage Gallery, with an inaugural exhibition exploring the connection between historical African art objects and their influence and significance as interpreted by contemporary African-American artists. The new gallery will be located in the American Adventure pavilion in World Showcase.
"Echoes of Africa" will feature important pieces from the Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection, considered to be one of the most significant and respected collections of African art in private hands. The collection was amassed over twenty years and spans the entire region of Africa, focusing primarily on Western Africa. During the three-year run of the exhibit, 15 to 20 pieces from the Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection will be on display at any one time, side by side with the works of approximately one dozen contemporary artists.
The Disney-Tishman African Art Collection has played a vital role in the world's understanding of African culture. The study of the objects contributed to some anthropological breakthroughs. Had this collection not been preserved and studied, experts say, some of our understanding of African culture would have been lost to history.
The collection was originally assembled by Paul and Ruth Tishman. The Walt Disney Company acquired the collection from the Tishmans in 1984. The collection has been included in world-class exhibitions since it was acquired by the Walt Disney Company. Objects from the collection are currently on exhibition at numerous museums around the world, including the Louvre, Smithsonian, Monastery of Our Lady of Prado (Valladolid, Spain) and the Museum for African Art, New York.
Renowned author and educator Dr. Lizzetta LeFalle-Collins will serve as guest curator for the exhibit. Dr. LeFalle-Collins is a noted scholar of African-American art and has curated exhibitions for the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, the American Federation of the Arts in New York, the California African-American Museum in Los Angeles, and the 22nd International Bienal Exhibition in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
As the sixth World Showcase gallery, the American Heritage Gallery joins galleries in the Mexico, Norway, China, Japan and Morocco pavilions. Entry to all of the galleries is included with Epcot admission.