A History of the Iziko South African National Gallery
Reflections on Art and National Identity
1st Edition Paperback ISBN: 1775822168
In South Africa, with its highly contested and mutable understandings of national identity, its National Gallery is no less a contested space. This book explores how the gallery has understood its function and its public, as a national’ gallery (from 1930) and, before that, the chief gallery of the Cape Colony. This question is investigated through a study of the gallery’s administration, collection and exhibition practices, the works it bought and exhibited, as well as the public response to exhibitions, setting it in the context of national galleries worldwide and particularly in the former colonies. What is understood by and expected of a national gallery varies considerably worldwide. Should it regard itself as part of a broad international cultural discourse, or should it be representative of a specifically national or even regional identity? The gallery is a microcosm of the greater debate: how the South African nation relates to the larger world and how, if at all, it understands the concept of a shared culture. In the last 20 years, museum studies have become a major part of the field of cultural studies. There is a vast literature on what might be called the history’ museum, but far less on the art museum or gallery. To date, there has been no large-scale historical inquiry into the Iziko SANG, the country’s national gallery. This study aims to fill this gap.
French Hardcover ISBN: 2757210726
"Majestic and beautiful looking twins, natives of Ishokun, Let me find means of eating, let me find means of drinking. Majestic and beautiful looking twins, come and give me the blessing of a child." According to Yoruba legend, the ibeji—united and inseparable twins—were sent into the world by monkeys, whose knowledge of nature’s secrets surpasses that of men. Regarded as sacred, they are venerated in a cult based on statuettes, the ere ibeji, which are commissioned from master sculptors by the families of the deceased twins. The eighty works from Benin and Nigeria presented in this book reflect the incredible stylistic diversity and beauty of these silent symbols of an age-old tradition—an eloquent expression of the creative potential of African art.
Paperback ISBN: 1633450554
The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art
Hardcover ISBN: 0674504399
The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art asks how the black figure was depicted by artists from the non-Western world. Beginning with ancient Egypt—positioned properly as part of African history—this volume focuses on the figure of the black as rendered by artists from Africa, East Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. The aesthetic traditions illustrated here are as diverse as the political and social histories of these regions. From Igbo Mbari sculptures to modern photography from Mali, from Indian miniatures to Japanese prints, African and Asian artists portrayed the black body in ways distinct from the European tradition, even as they engaged with Western art through the colonial encounter and the forces of globalization. This volume complements the vision of art patrons Dominique and Jean de Menil who, during the 1960s, founded an image archive to collect the ways that people of African descent have been represented in Western art from the ancient world to modern times. A half-century later, Harvard University Press and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research completed the historic publication of The Image of the Black in Western Art—ten books in total—beginning with Egyptian antiquities and concluding with images that span the twentieth century. The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art reinvigorates the de Menil family’s original mission and reorients the study of the black body with a new focus on Africa and Asia.
Central African Art Between Heaven and Earth
Hardcover ISBN: 0300222483
Living in the region between the Lubudi and Kasai rivers in south central Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Luluwa people are known for their elaborately carved male and female figure sculptures, masks, and decorative arts. Constantine Petridis draws on first-hand accounts of numerous explorers, missionaries, colonial servants, anthropologists, and art historians who visited the region between the 1880s and the 1970s, to comprehensively situate the Luluwa’s ornate art in its original environment of production and use. Through a close study of published and unpublished sources as well as museum objects and archival photographs, this book sheds new light on the historical context of one of central Africa’s most spectacular artistic legacies, whose creation presumably dates back to the second half of the 19th century.
Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas
Paperback ISBN: 0974872997
This book traces the visual cultures and histories of Mami Wata and other African water divinities. Mami Wata, often portrayed with the head and torso of a woman and the tail of a fish, is at once beautiful, jealous, generous, seductive, and potentially deadly. A water spirit widely known across Africa and the African diaspora, her origins are said to lie "overseas," although she has been thoroughly incorporated into local beliefs and practics. She can bring good fortune in the form of money, and her power increased between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries, the era of growing international trade between Africa and the rest of the world. Her name, which may be translated as "Mother Water" or "Mistress Water," is pidgin English, a language developed to lubricate trade. Africans forcibly carried across the Atlantic as part of that "trade" brought with them their beliefs and practices honoring Mami Wata and other ancestral deities. Henry John Drewal is the Evjue-Bascom Professor of African and African Diaspora Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other contributors include Marilyn Houlberg, Bogumil Jewsiewicki, Amy L. Noell, John W. Nunley, and Jill Salmons.
Tribal Decoration from Africa
Paperback ISBN: 0500288054
The scene of tribal conflicts and guerrilla incursions, Ethiopia's Omo Valley is also home to fascinating rites and traditions that have survived for thousands of years. The nomadic people who inhabit the valley share a gift for body painting and elaborate adornments borrowed from nature, and Hans Silvester has captured the results in a series of photographs made over the course of numerous trips.
New African Cinema
Paperback ISBN: 0813579562
New African Cinema examines the pressing social, cultural, economic, and historical issues explored by African filmmakers from the early post-colonial years into the new millennium. Offering an overview of the development of postcolonial African cinema since the 1960s, Valérie K. Orlando highlights the variations in content and themes that reflect the socio-cultural and political environments of filmmakers and the cultures they depict in their films. Orlando illuminates the diverse themes evident in the works of filmmakers such as Ousmane Sembène’s Ceddo (Senegal, 1977), Sarah Maldoror’s Sambizanga (Angola, 1972), Assia Djebar’s La Nouba des femmes de Mont Chenoua (The Circle of women of Mount Chenoua, Algeria, 1978), Zézé Gamboa’s The Hero (Angola, 2004) and Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu (Mauritania, 2014), among others. Orlando also considers the influence of major African film schools and their traditions, as well as European and American influences on the marketing and distribution of African film. For those familiar with the polemics of African film, or new to them, Orlando offers a cogent analytical approach that is engaging.