October 26th – ONLINE ONLY – Tribal Art Auction

Click here to view the catalog & bid online.


Bid of History auctions is very proud to present the tribal art collection of Ralph Cowan up for auction on October 26, 2013 at 1PM CST. This auction will be online only, but you may preview any item at the auction house. Please call 219-476-3188 to make an appointment.

Ralph Cowan: The Collector and The Photographer: Paralleling Ralph Cowan’s international career in Photography was his equally passionate interest in Tribal Arts. Each artifact collected and each photograph taken has its own story. With the soul of an anthropologist and the eye of an art connoisseur, Ralph Cowan would study the history and the meaning of the artifacts in his collection. Cowan’s collection of tribal artifacts, has taken him to many places including Papua New Guinea and several countries in Africa. These auction pieces represent just a part of the total collection. Artifacts from this collection have been on display at the University of Colorado, the Brauer Museum at Valparaiso University, the Porter County Historical Museum, and the Chicago Art Institute. More than 200 artifacts remain in the Ralph Cowan private Collection and will continue to be available for further museum Tribal Art shows.

Ralph Cowan and his artist wife Pat worked for more than 40 years from their Chicago, Illinois Photography Studio before taking up residency in Valparaiso, Indiana where Ralph continued both to collect Tribal Art and to do photography until his death in 2006.

Click here to view the catalog & bid online.


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