Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress

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The Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress (AMCP) is located in the city of Agats, in the Papua province of Indonesia. It was conceived by the Catholic Crosier missionary Frank Trenkenschuh in 1969 as a way to preserve traditional Asmat art as well as provide economic outlets to the Asmat people. It was built by the Catholic Crosier Diocese of Agats-Asmat, which also owns the museum, and supported by Crosier Fathers and Brothers Bishop Alphonse Sowada, originally from Elmdale, Minnesota, US.[1][2]

The American artist Tobias Schneebaum and Ursula and Gunter Konrad helped in establishing the museum and it officially opened on August 17, 1973.[3]

The museum has catalogued approximately 1,200 items to its collection.[4] Over 600 are on display, including over 300 sculptural pieces, ancestor poles, shields, and drums.[5]

Later, upon retiring to his native St. Cloud, MN, US area, Bishop emeritus Sowada was also instrumental in founding a second Asmat museum, the American Museum of Asmat Art which opened in 1995 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where it also appears under the acronyms AMAA and AMAA@UST.[2]

The director of the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress, as of 2007, has been Eric Sarkol with John Ohoiwirin as assistant.

Building upon a 1968-1974 United Nations funded Asmat wood carving project, the museum hosts an annual woodcarving competition and auction. The 31st Asmat Culture Festival sponsored by the Museum was scheduled for 8–13 October 2015.[3][6]


  1. ^ "The late Bishop Alphonse Sowada: 40 years of missionary service; Crosiers and the Asmat; Asmat Museum: Preservation of a People". Catholic Diocese of Saint Cloud Mission Office. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "AMAA@UST". St. Thomas University, St. Paul, MN, US. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Asmat History". Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology, Wichita State University, US. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  4. ^ Schneebaum, Tobias (1985). Asmat Images. Crosier Mission Press. ISBN 0-918728-59-2. [page needed]
  5. ^ Ursula Konrad; Alphonse Sowada; Gunter Konrad, eds. (2002). Asmat: Perception of Life in Art: The Collection of the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress. Mönchengladbach, Germany: K. Kühlen Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. ISBN 3-87448-229-4. 
  6. ^ "31st Asmat Culture Festival sponsored by the Museum". Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 

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