Collections and Collectors

The Cordilleran collections at the Linden-Museum Stuttgart can be traced to three collectors with only twelve objects coming from different sources. The largest group of 87 objects, mainly ritual objects and a few pieces of dress and adornment of the body, comes from the German journalist and amateur collector Christian Roll who travelled and worked in the Philippines during the 1970s, at a time when many Cordillerans were urged by Evangelical missionaries to part with such „pagan“ objects.

Another group of about 20 objects was given to the Linden-Museum by Gustav Niederlein and William P. Wilson, the curators of the Philippine Exposition at the 1904 World Exposition in St. Louis. These objects, predominantly weapons and other objects that could be linked to “headhunting”, had been exhibited in St. Louis in to demonstrate the necessity of American “civilizing missions” in the Philippines. They thus show the entanglement of the Linden-Museum into colonial projects, even if - in this case - it was American rather than German projects. Small groups of very early objects are from German collectors Heinrich Spitz and Gustav Möricke respectively, about whom little is known so far.

Text: Dr. Georg Noack