Chicago

Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection

The Arts Club of Chicago

An exhibition of the Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection of primitive art has opened the season at the Chicago Arts Club. The show is handsomely installed and there is an excellent catalog with extensive documentation of each piece. Nowhere in the catalog introduction, written by Allan Wardwell, is the term “primitive art” used. Traditionally it has been applied to art from the indigenous cultures of Africa, Oceania and Indian America, all of which evolved independently of the Euro-American and Oriental cultures, and all of which are included in the collection. Historically, “primitive,” when it preceded the name of a culture or qualified an art style originally had an accepted, dictionary meaning of “primordial, more or less remote, primeval, archaic . . .” etc. Such pejorative connotations seem to be diminishing and the term remains in general use. (In recent years ethnologists, those

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