On this floor powerful people keep a close watch on you. © Cédric Raskin
+4 | Display of Power | On Prestige and Symbols
Floor +4 explores the 'Display of Power' with collections relating to prestige and symbols.
Power is seductive, the world over. World leaders but also ordinary people seduce and overawe others in a bid to convince them that power is rightfully theirs.
In all cultures, beautiful status symbols, many of them sacred, play an important role in the display of power. And if that power is threatened, these status symbols are the first to be desecrated, destroyed or purloined.
Hardly surprisingly, the MAS collection houses thousands of these status symbols from all over the world. That heritage is so desirable that the international art trade and, of course, museum collections set their sights on it.
The Display of Power theme confronts visitors with the fascinating stories behind these exclusive objects. Stories of power close to home and further afield, stories past and present.
From the power and image of the various rulers in Antwerp during the Dutch Revolt (1568-1648) to Japan, where a sense of rank has played an important part in history, and relationships between ‘high’ and ‘low’ loom large in children’s education.
From the prestige of African rulers from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries through a collection of Indonesian weapons from the colonial period to Maori artist George Nuku’s vision of Polynesian heritage in Western museums.