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Over 270 designs from art of Nootka, Kwakiutl, Tlingit, other groups. Stylized plants, abstracts, repeating patterns, totemic images, more.
In the Spirit of the Ancestors celebrates the vitality of contemporary Pacific Northwest Coast art by showcasing a selection of objects from the Burke Museum's collection of more than 2,400 late-twentieth- and early-twenty-first-century Native American works. Essays focus on contemporary art while exploring the important historical precedents on which so many artists rely for training and inspiration. Margaret Blackman reflects on building one of the largest collections of Northwest Coast serigraphs, and Joe David reminisces about his artistic journey through mask-making. Shaun Peterson, Lisa Telford, and Evelyn Vanderhoop discuss the historical precedents for working in styles that were kept alive only by a few critical artists and are now making a comeback. Robin K. Wright explores the history of box drums and their revival. Emily Moore discusses the repatriation of two stolen house posts and proposes a new concept of "propatriation" to describe the resulting commissioning of contemporary posts to take their place. Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse explores the power of adornment and how clothing, jewelry, and personal adornments like tattooing express tribal and personal identity in ways both connected to the past and grounded in the present. The diversity of approaches presented by these contributors speaks to artists, collectors, academics, tribal communities, and all those interested in Pacific Northwest Coast art. Splendid color photographs of works never before published will delight everyone. Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E15hbqvHo4w&list=UUge4MONgLFncQ1w1C_BnHcw&index=7&feature=plcp
An accessible, beautifully designed introduction to Celtic art, written by the world expert, this book offers a carefully chosen sequence of 250 masterpieces ranging from the fifth century BC to the eighth century AD. The great variety and full range of Celtic artistic production is represented - from stone sculptures, terracotta vases and iron swords to amber necklaces, golden torques, bronze fibulas and illuminated manuscripts. Specially commissioned photography and lavish reproductions celebrate and reinforce the delicacy and beauty of Celtic art. This volume spans the entire Celtic world - from Ireland to France, Italy to Hungary, the Czech Republic to Germany and Austria. The result is an authoritative survey of this magnificent period of artistic culture, as well as a rich visual sourcebook for students, arts and crafts lovers.
In 1960, Eberhard Fischer had the opportunity to accompany his father, the art ethnologist Hans Himmelheber, on a major expedition to West Africa. He was actually only meant to film the Dan mask carvers as they worked, as well as their festive performances. Yet the strong personalities of these sculptors impressed the young man deeply and he began to document their life stories, record their artistic work methods in detail, and also to collect their works. The biographies and many of the photographs shown in the book of four mask carvers from the Liberian hinterland are unique in the study of African art, as masks are carved in secret in many of these cultures. Until recently, the works were recognised by art ethnologists and collectors, but rarely the people who created them. The new book presents Fischer's essay for the first time in English, supplemented by additional images and an epilog. A DVD with the historic film recordings of the artists at work completes the book.
Known for their beautiful textile art, the Kuna of Panama have been scrutinized by anthropologists for decades. Perhaps surprisingly, this scrutiny has overlooked the magnificent Kuna craft of nuchukana-wooden anthropomorphic carvings-which play vital roles in curing and other Kuna rituals. Drawing on long-term fieldwork, Paolo Fortis at last brings to light this crucial cultural facet, illuminating not only Kuna aesthetics and art production but also their relation to wider social and cosmological concerns. Exploring an art form that informs birth and death, personhood, the dream world, the natural world, religion, gender roles, and ecology, Kuna Art and Shamanism provides a rich understanding of this society's visual system, and the ways in which these groundbreaking ethnographic findings can enhance Amerindian scholarship overall. Fortis also explores the fact that to ask what it means for the Kuna people to carve the figure of a person is to pose a riddle about the culture's complete concept of knowing. Also incorporating notions of landscape (islands, gardens, and ancient trees) as well as cycles of life, including the influence of illness, Fortis places the statues at the center of a network of social relationships that entangle people with nonhuman entities. As an activity carried out by skilled elderly men, who possess embodied knowledge of lifelong transformations, the carving process is one that mediates mortal worlds with those of immortal primordial spirits. Kuna Art and Shamanism immerses readers in this sense of unity and opposition between soul and body, internal forms and external appearances, and image and design.
San rock paintings, scattered over the range of southern Africa,
are considered by many to be the very earliest examples of
representational art. There are as many as 15,000 known rock art
sites, created over the course of thousands of years up until the
nineteenth century. There are possibly just as many still awaiting
"Among the greatest private collections of Plains and Plateau Indian art in the world." --Gaylord Torrence, Senior Curator of American Indian Art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Living with American Indian Art: The Hirschfield Collection contains numerous masterworks, the great majority of which have never been published or exhibited. This book brings the collection into the scholarly domain as surely as any museum publication, making it accessible to the rest of the world for the first time. Alan Hirschfield built the collection primarily with an art-based view, focusing on pieces that he has found to be interesting and attractive. As a result, there is broad representation of many different tribes and regions, and includes textiles, leather pouches, war shirts, dresses, vests, cradleboards, beadwork, weaponry, pottery, toys, and basketry. Whether you are a collector, a scholar, or someone interested in decorating with American Indian art, inspiration will be found in Hirschfield's approach.
Alan J. Hirschfield, a foremost collector of American Indian art, has held many executive positions in the entertainment industry over the last 40 years, including chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and president and CEO of Columbia Pictures. He currently serves as a director of several nonprofit institutions and public companies. Among their numerous philanthropic commitments, he and his wife, Berte, are dedicated to improving the opportunities for youth living on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.
The Central Sahara is considered the greatest "museum" of rock art in the world, containing several thousand prehistoric and recent images. The oldest paintings, called Round Heads, originated during a humid phase in the 10th millennium before present and they were created by dark-skinned hunter-gatherers living in the Algerian and Libyan mountains. Rock shelters show mainly anthropomorphic figures with body paintings and other embellishments testifying ancient rituals and ceremonies. Only two animal species - antelope and mouflon - appear to be as important as men and women; mixed with them on the same walls, these animals had a fundamental place in the ideology of the period. Since the discovery by Europeans in the 19th century, research in the Sahara has been scarce due to the difficult working conditions and to the problematic politics associated with national permissions. The rock art and the archaeology have always been treated as separated disciplines and only rarely were the paintings associated with a material culture. They have been described and classified but not interpreted because it was considered unachievable. Using interdisciplinary studies, this book approaches the previously neglected fields of the study of Saharan rock art, and it proposes new ways to research the art and the societies that created it.
An in-depth exploration of the significance of art in the culture of the Kota people of Gabon in equatorial Africa, focusing on form, function and meaning, as well as the interplay of verbal and visual imagery. This new title in the Visions of Africa series offers a deep insight into the art of the Kota people of Gabon in the coastal area of western equatorial Africa. The Kota have developed an astonishing creativity in their representations of their ancestors. Their dreamlike figures combine a sharp sense of stylised reality tending towards abstraction with an extraordinary and imaginative use of copper, tin, and iron for purposes of decoration. But what seems to have been just a matter of aesthetic 'taste' has in fact a symbolic function, as most of the decorative motifs and the choice of the technique are linked to the Kota's kinship system or religious beliefs. The same applies to the use of copper, which was a rare material and consequently a mark of wealth and power in their society. The mbulu-ngulu reliquary figure was an icon, the visual sign of a world in which the ancestors continued to watch over their descendants. In Kota lands it was an essential 'tool' in group survival, one that enabled a continuous communication to be established between the living and the dead. The reliquary figures and initiation masks of the Kota and Mbete served as aides-memoire and instruments useful in arousing the forces of the netherworld among the Gabonese and Congolese in times past. Together with the Fang byeri and other nkisi punu, in their various forms they have gradually become the time-honoured emblems of the culture and ancestral values of the peoples of the great African equatorial forest.
Huichol Indian yarn paintings are one of the world's great indigenous arts, sold around the world and advertised as authentic records of dreams and visions of the shamans. Using glowing colored yarns, the Huichol Indians of Mexico paint the mystical symbols of their culture-the hallucinogenic peyote cactus, the blue deer-spirit who appears to the shamans as they croon their songs around the fire in all-night ceremonies deep in the Sierra Madre mountains, and the pilgrimages to sacred sites, high in the central Mexican desert of Wirikuta. Hope MacLean provides the first comprehensive study of Huichol yarn paintings, from their origins as sacred offerings to their transformation into commercial art. Drawing on twenty years of ethnographic fieldwork, she interviews Huichol artists who have innovated important themes and styles. She compares the artists' views with those of art dealers and government officials to show how yarn painters respond to market influences while still keeping their religious beliefs. Most innovative is her exploration of what it means to say a tourist art is based on dreams and visions of the shamans. She explains what visionary experience means in Huichol culture and discusses the influence of the hallucinogenic peyote cactus on the Huichol's remarkable use of color. She uncovers a deep structure of visionary experience, rooted in Huichol concepts of soul-energy, and shows how this remarkable conception may be linked to visionary experiences as described by other Uto-Aztecan and Meso-American cultures.
The prehistoric native peoples of the Mississippi River Valley and other areas of the Eastern Woodlands of the United States shared a complex set of symbols and motifs that constituted one of the greatest artistic traditions of the pre-Columbian Americas. Traditionally known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex, these artifacts of copper, shell, stone, clay, and wood were the subject of the groundbreaking 2007 book Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms: Interpretations of Mississippian Iconography, which presented a major reconstruction of the rituals, cosmology, ideology, and political structures of the Mississippian peoples. Visualizing the Sacred advances the study of Mississippian iconography by delving into the regional variations within what is now known as the Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere (MIIS). Bringing archaeological, ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and iconographic perspectives to the analysis of Mississippian art, contributors from several disciplines discuss variations in symbols and motifs among major sites and regions across a wide span of time and also consider what visual symbols reveal about elite status in diverse political environments. These findings represent the first formal identification of style regions within the Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere and call for a new understanding of the MIIS as a network of localized, yet interrelated religious systems that experienced both continuity and change over time.
Winner of the 2012 Melville J. Herskovits award (African Studies Association) Throughout southwestern Nigeria, Yoruba men and women create objects called aale to protect their properties-farms, gardens, market goods, firewood-from the ravages of thieves. Aale are objects of such unassuming appearance that a non-Yoruba viewer might not register their important presence in the Yoruba visual landscape: a dried seedpod tied with palm fronds to the trunk of a fruit tree, a burnt corncob suspended on a wire, an old shoe tied with a rag to a worn-out broom and broken comb, a ripe red pepper pierced with a single broom straw and set atop a pile of eggs. Consequently, aale have rarely been discussed in print, and then only as peripheral elements in studies devoted to other issues. Yet aale are in no way peripheral to Yoruba culture or aesthetics. In Vigilant Things, David T. Doris argues that aale are keys to understanding how images function in Yoruba social and cultural life. The humble, often degraded objects that comprise aale reveal as eloquently as any canonical artwork the channels of power that underlie the surfaces of the visible. Aale are warnings, intended to trigger the work of conscience. Aale objects symbolically threaten suffering as the consequence of transgression-the suffering of disease, loss, barrenness, paralysis, accident, madness, fruitless labor, or death-and as such are often the useless residues of things that were once positively valued: empty snail shells, shards of pottery, fragments of rusted iron, and the like. If these objects share "suffering" and "uselessness" as constitutive elements, it is because they already have been made to suffer and become useless. Aale offer would-be thieves an opportunity to recognize themselves in advance of their actions and to avoid the thievery that would make the "useless" people.
"Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of
Alaska" features more than 200 objects representing the masterful
artistry and design traditions of twenty Alaska Native peoples.
Based on a collaborative exhibition created by Alaska Native
communities, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History,
the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, and the
Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, this richly illustrated volume
celebrates both the long-awaited return of ancestral treasures to
their native homeland and the diverse cultures in which they were
Aztec painted manuscripts and sculptural works, as well as indigenous and Spanish sixteenth-century texts, were filled with images of foodstuffs and food processing and consumption. Both gods and humans were depicted feasting, and food and eating clearly played a pervasive, integral role in Aztec rituals. Basic foods were transformed into sacred elements within particular rituals, while food in turn gave meaning to the ritual performance. This pioneering book offers the first integrated study of food and ritual in Aztec art. Elizabeth Moran asserts that while feasting and consumption are often seen as a secondary aspect of ritual performance, a close examination of images of food rites in Aztec ceremonies demonstrates that the presence-or, in some cases, the absence-of food in the rituals gave them significance. She traces the ritual use of food from the beginning of Aztec mythic history through contact with Europeans, demonstrating how food and ritual activity, the everyday and the sacred, blended in ceremonies that ranged from observances of births, marriages, and deaths to sacrificial offerings of human hearts and blood to feed the gods and maintain the cosmic order. Moran also briefly considers continuities in the use of pre-Hispanic foods in the daily life and ritual practices of contemporary Mexico. Bringing together two domains that have previously been studied in isolation, Sacred Consumption promises to be a foundational work in Mesoamerican studies.
This beautiful book was born out of the passion and artistic insight of Marnix Neerman and Hugo Martens. One hundred and twenty-eight masks have been photographed in such a unique style that their artistic nature is revealed to the utmost. Each mask has been shot from the front and from the rear, and detail shots reveal each mask as an almost autonomous work of art. And yet, these masks are not considered works of art in their countries of origin, but rather tools that have a function and a meaning in socio-religious life. Many of these masks have never been displayed or published before and come from reference collections such as the Museum for Middle Africa in Tervuren, Belgium; the Etnographic Museum in Antwerp and private collections in Belgium, France, UK and USA. 'African Faces' was produced in cooperation with the archive of the Yale university, "Tribal Art" magazine, "Parcours des Mondes" in Paris and many other experts and will become a future reference work when it comes to the African mask; the powerful photographs accentuate the artistic value of the masks like never before.
Ibrahim El-Salahi is one of the most influential figures in Sudanese modern art. Through his extraordinary artwork and remarkable writing and art criticism, he has made foundational contributions to the modernist movements in Africa and the Arab world. In his paintings, drawings, and illustrations, he engages with an array of traditional African, Arab, and Islamic visual sources as well as European art movements. His unique style transcends geographic and cultural boundaries and has inspired artists in Sudan and elsewhere in Africa for generations.
El-Salahi's art offers profound possibilities for understanding African and Arab modernisms and repositioning them within the context of a broader, global modernity. This book brings together more than five decades of his work, tracing a personal journey that originates in Sudan and leads to the artist's international schooling, his detention as a political prisoner in his home country, his self-imposed exile in Qatar, and his current life in the United Kingdom.
Salah M. Hassan is director of the Africana Studies and Research Center and professor of African and African Diaspora art history at Cornell University. Other contributors include Sarah Adams, Chika Okeke-Agulu, Iftikhar Dadi, Hassan Musam and El-Salahi.
Exploring three major hubs of muralist activity in California, where indigenist imagery is prevalent, Walls of Empowerment celebrates an aesthetic that seeks to firmly establish Chicana/o sociopolitical identity in U.S. territory. Providing readers with a history and genealogy of key muralists' productions, Guisela Latorre also showcases new material and original research on works and artists never before examined in print.
An art form often associated with male creative endeavors, muralism in fact reflects significant contributions by Chicana artists. Encompassing these and other aspects of contemporary dialogues, including the often tense relationship between graffiti and muralism, Walls of Empowerment is a comprehensive study that, unlike many previous endeavors, does not privilege non-public Latina/o art. In addition, Latorre introduces readers to the role of new media, including performance, sculpture, and digital technology, in shaping the muralist's "canvas."
Drawing on nearly a decade of fieldwork, this timely endeavor highlights the ways in which California's Mexican American communities have used images of indigenous peoples to raise awareness of the region's original citizens. Latorre also casts murals as a radical force for decolonization and liberation, and she provides a stirring description of the decades, particularly the late 1960s through 1980s, that saw California's rise as the epicenter of mural production. Blending the perspectives of art history and sociology with firsthand accounts drawn from artists' interviews, Walls of Empowerment represents a crucial turning point in the study of these iconographic artifacts.
Thirty years ago, Australian Aboriginal art was little more than a footnote to world art. Today, it is considered to be an important contemporary art movement, often promoted as being connected to a deep cultural past. Becoming Art provides a new analysis of the shifting cultural and social contexts that surround the production of Aboriginal art. Transcending the boundaries between anthropology and art history, the book draws on arguments from both disciplines to provide a unique interdisciplinary perspective that places the artists themselves at the centre of the argument. Western art history has traditionally regarded Aboriginal art as distanced from time and place. Becoming Art uses the recent history of Aboriginal art to challenge some of the presuppositions of western art discourse and western art worlds. It argues for a more cross-cultural perspective on world art history.
Focusing on the theme of warriorhood, Sidney Littlefield Kasfir weaves a complex history of how colonial influence forever changed artistic practice, objects, and their meaning. Looking at two widely diverse cultures, the Idoma in Nigeria and the Samburu in Kenya, Kasfir makes a bold statement about the links between colonialism, the Europeans image of Africans, Africans changing self representation, and the impact of global trade on cultural artifacts and the making of art. This intriguing history of the interaction between peoples, aesthetics, morals, artistic objects and practices, and the global trade in African art challenges current ideas about artistic production and representation."
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