NOVEMBER 22, 2004 - Posted at 11:24 a.m. CST
WILSON, AR - The centerpiece artifact of an archeological collection on permanent display at the Hampson Museum State Park in Wilson is now on a year-long tour where it will be on exhibit at three prestigous American museums in Chicago, St. Louis and Washington D.C.
Archeological excavations that began in the late 19th century unearthed only three effigy head vessels at 1,000-year-old prehistoric Native American village sites located in what is today Mississippi County in northeast Arkansas. Each Mississippian head pot is a realistically sculptured head with facial decorations of detailed tatooing, a defined hairline and multi-pierced ears. The centerpiece effigy head vessel will be on exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago from November 20 through January 30, 2005; the St. Louis Art Museum from late February 2005 through late May 2005; and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington from late June 2005 through September '05.
"During this year-long tour, more individuals will see this rare archeological artifact than have seen it since its discovery," said Hampson Park Superintendent Marlon Mowdy. "These major art museums in Chicago and St. Louis, and the natural history museum at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., will present and interpret the vessel in a context different from the normal historical and archeological interpretation," Mowdy added.
The vessel will be featured in an exhibition titled, "Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South." The exhibit will explore the themes of a large branch of Pre-Columbian civilization that is virtually unknown to the American public, that of the midwestern and southern United States.