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Icons: Ideals and Power in the Art of Africa

Icons: Ideals and Power in the Art of Africa

by Herbert M. Cole

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
The tremendous vitality and originality of African art clearly shows in the 206 photographs in this work, written to accompany an exhibition at the Smithsonian. Not strictly a catalog, it includes almost 80 additional art works not exhibited to reinforce Cole's discussion of five different iconic groupings of figures. Although clear and free of art jargon, Cole's argument is less compelling than the art itself. Primarily sculpture from West Africa, the pieces manifest the spirit of creativity that so affected Picasso and other 20th-century Western artists. Individual works are well connected to their anthropological context by photographs of shrines and ceremonies, well-labeled maps, and extensive notes. Recommended.-- David McClel land, Temple Univ. Libs., Philadelphia
For more than 6,000 years, a number of figurative images have repeatedly appeared in works of art across the continent of Africa. These images embody cultural ideals and values central to the lives of African peoples. Art historian Cole explores five of the most significant icons: the couple, the woman and child, the male hunter of warrior, the rider, and the stranger or outsider. Lavishly illustrated with some 200 photographs, about half in color. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Smithsonian Institution Press
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9.03(w) x 11.98(h) x 0.85(d)

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