Campbellsville University African artifact collection on display

Campbellsville University African artifact collection on display

March 11, 2010
For Immediate Release

Skye Gardner, a senior at Campbellsville University, looks over the Henderson African artifact collection at the Campbellsville University, looks over the exhibit in the Art Gallery. The exhibit runs through March 26 with a reception March 25. (Campbellsville University Photo by Munkh-Amgalan Galsanjamts)

By Tawny Vilchis, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – A set of African artifacts has found a permanent home at Campbellsville University thanks to Margery Henderson of Burkesville, Ky., and an exhibit of the artifacts are on display at the university’s Art Gallery through March 26 at 205 University Drive, Campbellsville.

A reception will take place Thursday, March 25, at from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in recognition of Henderson and the collection.

“Through the years we had enjoyed a close relationship with Campbellsville University and this just seemed the right place for our prized collection,” Henderson said.

As a Kentucky native, Henderson desired a permanent home for the African artifact collection that could be frequently visited by her family members and loved ones.   

“Several large universities contacted us, but my desire was that they be placed close to our permanent home and accessible to our daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren,” she said.

Henderson, along with her late husband W. Glenn Henderson and daughter Cynthia Henderson (who is now Mrs. Steve Hurt), acquired the African artifacts during their six-year stay in Liberia serving on the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which was known as the Foreign Mission Board (FMB).

Henderson said each individual artifact in the collection was carefully purchased with great attention pertaining to its history and tribal origins. Some of the pieces were utilitarian while others were used for celebration, various rituals and ornamental purposes.
Some of the pieces on display include garments, masks, jewelry, shoes, drums, baskets, statues, and other items.

The Henderson’s were appointed to a two-year term of International Service Corp volunteers to serve in an advisory capacity for the British Baptist Union in 1997.

In 1972, Henderson became critically ill from a tropical disease and was forced to return to the United States ending her stay in Liberia.

Henderson died in 1998 while running along the River Thames in England.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Linda J. Cundiff, professor and chair of the department of art, at 270-789-5268 or via e-mail at

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.


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