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Art from Africa: Long Steps Never Broke a Back / Edition 1

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PAPERBACK New 0691092958 Seattle Art Museum/Princeton University Press softcover, 2002, unused, No marks or "shelf wear" (as New); bubble-wrapped and mailed in a BOX with free ... delivery confirmation. Read more Show Less

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Overview

This strikingly unusual and beautifully illustrated book represents a turning point in African art history. The authors draw on personal memories, interviews, and oral narratives to present twelve "case histories" of objects--or clusters of objects--in the Seattle Art Museum's renowned collection of African art. Each case history is enriched by comments from artists, art historians, writers, community members, and patrons who guide readers back into the markets, palaces, ceremonies, shrines, and streets where African art originated.

Often sitting still and silent in a museum display case, African art is frozen in an alien frame. Vibrant music, movement, debate, and cryptic voices are among the missing elements that once surrounded the mask, sculpture, ring, or stool. Reframing the objects, Art from Africa proposes looking at what was once done with them while also listening carefully to what was once said in their presence. As the case histories reveal, the gross mislabeling of objects as "fetishes," "idols," and "devil masks" dissolves as art becomes better known as medicine, philosophy, personality correctives, and blessings for the future.

Known for his scintillating analyses of African art, Robert Farris Thompson devotes his opening essay to introducing the missing dimension of motion, exploring the meaning of postures and gestures in various African cultures. A curator dedicated to telling the stories behind such art, Pamela McClusky explores subjects ranging from royal art of the Kom and Asante kingdoms, masquerades from the Yoruba, Dan, and Mende cultures, hunters' shirts from the Mande empire, sculpture from the Kongo kingdom, Mercedes-Benz coffins fromthe streets of Ghana, photographs from Mali, and Maasai body ornaments. This book accompanies a special exhibition of the museum's collection, but, as all art lovers who look beyond museum walls will appreciate, it is much more than an exhibition catalogue.

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Philadelphia Museum of Art

October 2, 2004 - January 2, 2005.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691092959
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/21/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 8.55 (w) x 10.56 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface by Mimi Gardner Gates 6
Acknowledgments 9
Introduction by Pamela McClusky 13
African Art in Motion by Robert Farris Thompson 17
Case Histories: Art Steps from Africa to America by Pamela McClusky
Heroes Go Solitary Walking: Hunters' Shirts 63
An Art of Persuasion: Regalia from the Asante Kingdom 79
Assembling a Royal Stage: Art from the Kom Kingdom 115
The Fetish and the Imagination of Europe: Sacred Medicines of the Kongo 143
A Sculpture Hungry for Aggression: Ivwri Figure 169
Forest Spirits Far from Home: Dan Masks 179
Beauty Stripped of Human Flaws: Sowei Masks 197
"God's Medicine" against Witchcraft: Costume for Basinjom 215
The Ultimate Spectacle for Powerful Mothers: Gelede Masks 227
Riding into the Next Life: A Mercedes-Benz Coffin 245
"Negatives That Breathe Like You and Me": Photographs from Bamako 253
Collecting Beads and Wishes for the Future: Ornaments for a Maasai Bride 261
Appendix: Sande Society Stories 279
Index 295
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