A VIP viewing of Missouri Southern’s African art collection will include pieces that have not been on public display in 20 years.

The exhibit, featuring key objects from the Finley Collection, will be on display Monday, July 24, through Friday, Aug. 4, in Spiva Art Gallery. The collection, which was presented to the university by John and Pam Finley in 1997, includes ceremonial masks, tools, instruments, weapons and drawings.
Visitors will be able to “adopt” an African art piece for a donation of $20, $50, $100 or more. Donors’ names will be featured in archives and in the Past Perfect online database, which houses a digital collection of all pieces owned by MSSU. All donations will go to preservation efforts in maintaining the collection.

The collection contains approximately 300 pieces and was put together by former associate professor of art Val Christenson from pieces donated by the Finley family and others.

In a previous interview, Angela Watts, associate collection manager at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas-Lawrence, said that Missouri Southern’s collection is definitely unique to this area.

“I don’t know of many other places in this region that have this kind of collection available,” she said.

A reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, in the gallery. The public is invited to attend.

The gallery is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday throughout the summer.