A tall black sculpture with a large headdress in the

Moving Objects, FAM’s exhibition of African and Oceanic Art, recognizes the significance and dramatic visual presence of work from Africa and the Pacific Islands through the exploration of the migrating object. In celebration of the generosity of FAM’s friends, whose donations have shaped the collection, the exhibition tracks each object’s journey to the Museum from its respective point of origin.

Along with many other individuals who have added significant objects to this collection, Dwight and Anna Heath, the Genevieve MacMillan-Reba Stewart Foundation, and William Teel have contributed the core of FAM’s collection of African and Oceanic Art. Their gifts have enhanced and diversified FAM’s holdings, as each object contains its own story of acquisition and migration.

Moving Objects captures the breadth of work in its collection, juxtaposing some of FAM’s earliest acquisitions, like the Tongan Tapa Cloth donated by Miss Cora Hatch of Fitchburg in 1931, with more recent acquisitions, like the Baining Spirit Mask from the Worcester Art Museum. Some gifted to the museum, some acquired from the artists themselves, the exhibited objects and their stories show how the African and Oceanic collections evolved at the Fitchburg Art Museum.

This exhibition has been funded by a generous grant from the Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart Foundation.


Healing’ Scroll, ma’ero qumät (“full size”) or yä branna ketab (“written on skin”), late 19th- or early 20th-century Tigrinya artist, Tigray region, Ethiopia vellum, pigment. Gift of Bobbi and Tim Hamill.

Spirit Mask (Kavat) for night dances, mid-20th century (before 1969) artist, New Britain, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Melanesia bark-cloth (tapa), cane framework, pigment. Gift from The Helen Slosberg Collection of Oceanic Art in memory of her brother Israel Sagoff. Photo by Charles Sternaimolo. 

Woman’s Vest, mid-20th century Dinka artist. South Sudan beads, fiber, cowry shells. Museum purchase, Sinon Collection Fund.


Read the press release to learn more.


Explore frequently asked questions.


Watch film clips featured in this exhibition. 


Download our educator resource packet. 


Borrow the Ghana, Africa kit for your classroom.



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Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm
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Fitchburg Art Museum
185 Elm Street, Fitchburg, MA 01420
Phone 978.345.4207


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