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This remarkable study explores the use of the visual and performing arts to promote nonviolence and social harmony in sub-Saharan Africa. It focuses on Gelede, a popular community festival of masquerade, dance, and song, held several times a year by the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria and the Republic of Benin. Babatunde Lawal, an art historian and African scholar who has taught in Nigeria, Brazil, and the United States, is himself a Yoruba and has taken an active part in Gelede. He writes from the perspective of an informed participant/observer of his own culture. Lawal bases his book on extensive field research-observations and interviews-conducted over more than two decades as well as on numerous published and unpublished scholarly sources. He casts significant new light on many previously obscure aspects of Gelede, and he demonstrates a useful methodological approach to the study of non-Western art. The book systematically covers the major aspects of the Gelede spectacle, presenting its cultural background and historical origins as preface to a vivid and detailed description of an actual performance. This is followed by a discussion of the iconography and aesthetics of costume, and an examination of the sculpted images on the masks. The book concludes with a discussion of the moral and aesthetic philosophy of Gelede and its responsiveness to technological and social change. The Gelede Spectacle is illustrated in color and black-and-white with over 100 field and museum photographs, including a rare sequence on the dressing of a masquerader. It offers, in addition, more than 60 Gelede song texts, proverbs, and divination verses, each in the original Yoruba as well as in translation. Lawal's interpretations of these pieces indicate the rich complexities of metaphor and analogy inherent in the Yoruba language and art.
Baskets made by the people of the mid-Columbia River are among the finest examples of Indian textile art in North America, and they are included in the collections of most major museums. The traditional designs and techniques of construction reveal a great artistic heritage that links modern basketmakers to their ancestors. Yet baskets are also everyday objects of a utilitarian nature that reveal much about mid-Columbia culture---a flat twined bag has greatest value when it is plump with dried roots, a coiled basket when full of huckleberries. In Columbia River Basketry, Mary Schlick writes about the weavers who at the time of European contact lived along the Columbia River from just above its confluence with the Yakima River westward to the vicinity of present-day Portland, Oregon, and Indian groups living along the river. She presents the baskets in the context of the lives of the people who created and used them. She also writes about the descendants of the early basket weavers, to whom basketry skills have been passed and from whom she herself learned to make baskets. Schlick blends mythology, personal reminiscences, materials, and basketry techniques. Written with deep understanding and appreciation of the artists and their work, Columbia River Basketry will be an inspirational sourcebook for basket weavers and other craftspeople. It will also serve as an invaluable reference for scholars, curators, and collectors in identifying, dating, and interpreting examples of Columbia River basketry.
The massive wood carvings unique to the Indian peoples of the Northwest Coast arouse a sense of wonder in all who see them. This guide helps the reader to understand and enjoy the form and meaning of totem poles and other sculptures. Among the illustrations are archival photographs which show the poles in their original settings--on deserted pebble beaches and in front of the now decayed houses which once stood in thriving villages. The author describes the origin and place of totem poles in Indian culture--as ancestral emblems, as expressions of wealth and power, as ceremonial objects, as mythological symbols, and as magnificent artistic works of the people of the Pacific Northwest. She also suggests ways to interpret the motifs and symbols carved on the poles and shows how to recognize the special features which reveal not only the skill of the carver but also his tribal origin. The works of contemporary artists such as Bill Reid illustrate the change from traditional designs to innovative forms that convey a new and different cultural dimension.
In September 1895, Aby Warburg started out on his journey to the USA, which proved to be momentous for him as well as for the scientific discipline of art history. The results of his cultural-anthropological research ("Snake Ritual"), which he presented in lectures in 1897 and at the Kreuzlingen Sanatorium in 1923, are for the first time presented in reliable transcriptions, including all image documents. In addition to about 200 photographs by Warburg, covering subjects such as the Pueblo Indians'dance rituals, this edition offers the complete catalogue of his collection of Indian artefacts. With detailed comments, and explanations of that journey, the volume shows how Warburg uses the exploration of the Hopi culture for the cultural psychological self-reflection of a European scientist.
What do we mean by 'art'? As a category of objects, the concept belongs to a Western cultural tradition, originally European and now increasingly global, but how useful is it for understanding other traditions? To understand art as a universal human value, we need to look at how the concept was constructed in order to reconstruct it through an understanding of the wider world. Western art values have a pervasive influence upon non-Western cultures and upon Western attitudes to them. This innovative yet accessible new text explores the ways theories of art developed as Western knowledge of the world expanded through exploration and trade, conquest, colonisation and research into other cultures, present and past. It considers the issues arising from the historical relationships which brought diverse artistic traditions together under the influence of Western art values, looking at how art has been used by colonisers and colonised in the causes of collecting and commerce, cultural hegemony and autonomous identities.World Art questions conventional Western assumptions of art from an anthropological perspective which allows comparison between cultures. It treats art as a property of artefacts rather than a category of objects, reclaiming the idea of 'world art' from the 'art world'. This book is essential reading for all students on anthropology of art courses as well as students of museum studies and art history, based on a wide range of case studies and supported by learning features such as annotated further reading and chapter opening summaries.
A largely unpublished collection of Japanese Art Brut. A new selection of twenty-five Japanese Art Brut new artists. Following the publication of Art Brut du Japon, co-published in 2008 by the Collection de l'Art Brut and editions Infolio, this catalogue presents pieces by twenty-five new Japanese artists from different regions of Japan, whose works drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and textiles - are largely unpublished. The authors explore the assimilation of Japanese Art Brut into the larger culture from 2008 to the present. As they point out, whereas the notion of mental handicap resides in aesthetic and sociological criteria (these artists are self-taught, and often socially marginalized misfits, draft dodgers, prisoners, psychiatric patients, the elderly, etc. who create outside of the official art system), the condition whether mental or physical is not a criterion in itself. Accompanying an exhibition at Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne from November 30, 2018 to April 28, 2019, this catalogue of new Japanese works expands our understanding of Art Brut in a contemporary albeit different cultural setting. Text in English and French.
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.
Part art history, part detective story, this gripping insider's account of the Papunya art movement--which was centered around the 1,000 small, painted panels created at the remote northern territory Aboriginal settlement of Papunya during 1971 and 1972--goes beyond a mere discussion of the astronomical auction prices in the late 1990s that first drew many people's attention to these pieces. Celebrating Australian art history, this study explores the background of the artists themselves as well as restoring the boards' historical and cultural significance as the first inscriptions of the religious beliefs and sacred visual language of the Western Desert peoples. It additionally looks at the controversies that surrounded the paintings at the time of their creation, the role of teacher Geoffrey Bardon, the depiction of sacred imagery, what they mean to the artists' descendants, and the distant worlds of art auctions and international exhibitions--telling the larger story of Aboriginal art in Australia and beyond.
Through the prism of America's most enduring African-inspired art form, the Lowcountry basket, Grass Roots guides readers across 300 years of American and African history. In scholarly essays and beautiful photographs, Grass Roots follows the coiled basket along its transformation on two continents from a simple farm tool once used for processing grain to a work of art and a central symbol of African and African American identity. Featuring images of the stunning work of contemporary basket makers from South Carolina to South Africa, as well as historic photographs that document the artistic heritage of the southern United States, Grass Roots appears at a moment when public recognition of the Gullah/Geechee heritage is encouraging a reexamination of Africa's contribution to American civilization. Working with basket makers from Charleston and Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, historian Dale Rosengarten has been studying African-American baskets for over 20 years and brings her research up-to-date with interviews of artists and the results of recent historical inquiry. Anthropologist Enid Schildkrout draws on her research in West Africa and museum collections around the world to explore the African antecedents of Lowcountry basketry. Geographer Judith A. Carney discusses the origins of rice in Africa and reveals how enslaved Africans brought to America not only rice seeds but, just as important, the technical know-how that turned southern coastal forests and swamps into incredibly profitable rice plantations. Historian Peter H. Wood discusses the many skills that enslaved Africans contributed to the settlement of the Old South and at the same time used to resist the conditions of their servitude. John Michael Vlach, a leading authority on African American folk art, discusses the history of visual depictions of plantation life. Fath Davis Ruffins, a specialist on the imagery of popular culture, sheds light on the history embedded in old photographs of African Americans in the Charleston area. Cultural historian Jessica B. Harris explores the tradition of rice in American cooking and the enduring African influences in the southern kitchen. Anthropologist and art historian Sandra Klopper sketches the history of coiled basketry in South Africa, illuminating its evolution from utilitarian craft to fine art, parallel to developments in America. Anthropologist J. Lorand Matory traces the changing meanings of Gullah/Geechee identity and discusses its appearance as a significant force on the American cultural scene today. Dale Rosengarten is curator of special collections at the College of Charleston library. Theodore Rosengarten teaches history at the College of Charlestona and University of South Carolina. Enid Schildkrout is chief curator and director of exhibitions and publications at the Museum for African Art, New York.
The second colouring book in the "Northwest Native Arts" Series. Learn about some of the real and legendary creatures revered by the natives of the west coast by using these templates to create spectacular pictures.
In the 1980s-at the height of Thatcherism and in the wake of civil unrest and rioting in a number of British cities-the Black Arts Movement burst onto the British art scene with breathtaking intensity, changing the nature and perception of British culture irreversibly. This richly illustrated volume presents a history of that movement. It brings together in a lively dialogue leading artists, curators, art historians, and critics, many of whom were actively involved in the Black Arts Movement. Combining cultural theory with anecdote and experience, the contributors debate how the work of the black British artists of the 1980s should be viewed historically. They consider the political, cultural, and artistic developments that sparked the movement even as they explore the extent to which such a diverse body of work can be said to constitute a distinct artistic movement-particularly given that "black" in Britain in the 1980s encompassed those of South Asian, North and sub-Saharan African, and Caribbean descent, referring as much to shared experiences of disenfranchisement as to shades of skin.In thirteen original essays, the contributors examine the movement in relation to artistic practice, public funding, and the transnational art market and consider its legacy for today's artists and activists. The volume includes a unique catalog of images, an extensive list of suggested readings, and a descriptive timeline situating the movement vis-a-vis relevant artworks and films, exhibitions, cultural criticism, and political events from 1960 to 2000. A dynamic living archive of conversations, texts, and images, Shades of Black will be an essential resource. Contributors. Stanley Abe, Jawad Al-Nawab, Rasheed Araeen, David A. Bailey, Adelaide Bannerman, Ian Baucom, Dawoud Bey, Sonia Boyce, Allan deSouza, Jean Fisher, Stuart Hall, Lubaina Himid, Naseem Khan, susan pui san lok, Kobena Mercer, Yong Soon Min, Keith Piper, Zineb Sedira, Gilane Tawadros, Leon Wainwright, Judith Wilson
This is a fascinating introduction to the arts and crafts reflected in the material culture of North American Indians. Knowledge of the skills and techniques developed by the various tribes, and the fine materials produced, provides a key to understanding the rich diversity of native cultures. Replete with information and full-color illustrations, this handsome guide will be useful to students of American cultural history.
Itee Pootoogook belonged to a new generation of Inuit artists who are transforming and reshaping the creative traditions that were successfully pioneered by their parents and grandparents in the second half of the 20th century.A meticulous draughtsman who worked with graphite and coloured pencil, Itee depicted buildings in Kinngait that incorporated a perspectival view, a relatively recent practice influenced by his training as a carpenter and his interest in photography. His portraits of acquaintances and family members similarly bear witness to the contemporary North. Whether he depicts them at work or resting, his subjects are engaged in a range of activities from preparing carcasses brought in from hunting to playing music or contemplating the landscape of the North.Itee was also an inventive landscapist. Many of his finest Arctic scenes emphasize the open horizon that separates land from sky and the ever-shifting colours of the Arctic. Rendering the variable light of the landscape with precision, he brought a level of attention that contributed, over time, to his style.Featuring more than 100 images and essays by curators, art historians, and contemporary artists, Itee Pootoogook: Hymns to Silence celebrates the creative spirit of an innovative artist. It is the first publication devoted exclusively to his art.
Bringing Latin American popular art out of the margins and into the center of serious scholarship, this book rethinks the cultural canon and recovers previously undervalued cultural forms as art. Juan Ramos uses ""decolonial aesthetics,"" a theory that frees the idea of art from Eurocentric forms of expression and philosophies of the beautiful, to examine the long decade of the 1960s in Latin America-- time of cultural production that has not been studied extensively from a decolonial perspective. Ramos looks at examples of ""antipoetry,"" unconventional verse that challenges canonical poets and often addresses urgent social concerns. He analyzes the militant popular songs of nueva cancion by musicians including Mercedes Sosa and Violeta Parra. He discusses films that use visually shocking images and melodramatic effects to tell the stories of Latin American nations. These art forms, he argues, appeal to an aesthetic that involves all the senses. Instead of being outdated byproducts of their historical moments, they continue to influence Latin American cultural production today.
Spectacular exchange ceremonies involving hundreds of dancers festooned with elaborate body adornments - including highly prized bird of paradise plumes and the revered kina, or pearlshell - is something for which the peoples of the New Guinea highlands are renowned. Appreciating the sophistication and sheer beauty of these adornments, Stanley Gordon Moriarty assembled one of the finest collections including exquisitely constructed headdresses, arm- and legbands, ear- and nose-rings and necklaces, made of feathers, shell, bark cloth, animal and plant fibres and natural pigments. This book presents highlights from this extraordinary collection, now held by the Gallery, as well as other superb pieces used in rituals, war and daily life such as rare gourd masks, painted shields, carved spears, woven and carved figures, textiles and dance masks.
Joanna Grabski and Carol Magee bring together a compelling collection that shows how interviews can be used to generate new meaning and how connecting with artists and their work can transform artistic production into innovative critical insights and knowledge. The contributors to this volume include artists, museum curators, art historians, and anthropologists, who address artistic production in a variety of locations and media to question previous uses of interview and provoke alternative understandings of art.
Art and Judaism During the Greco-Roman Period explores the Jewish experience with art during the Greco-Roman period from the Hellenistic period through the rise of Islam. It starts from with the premise that Jewish art in antiquity was a "minority" or "ethnic" art and surveys ways that Jews fully participated in, transformed, and at times rejected the art of their general environment. Art and Judaism focuses upon the politics of identity during the Greco-Roman period, even as it discusses ways that modern identity issues have sometimes distorted and at other times refined scholarly discussion of ancient Jewish material culture. Art and Judaism, the first historical monograph on ancient Jewish art in forty years, evaluates earlier scholarship even as it sets out in new directions. Placing literary sources in careful dialogue with archaeological discoveries, this "New Jewish Archaeology" is an important contribution to Judaic Studies, Religious Studies, Art History, and Classics. The Revised Edition includes a new introduction, additional images, and color plates.
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."
The first art historical study of Yoruba-descended, African Brazilian religious art based on an author's long-term participation in and observation of private and public rituals.
At a time when the art of the African diaspora has aroused much general interest for its multicultural dimensions, Mikelle Smith Omari-Tunkara contributes strikingly rich insights as a participant/observer in the African-based religions of Brazil. She focuses on the symbolism and function of ritual objects and costumes used in the Brazilian candomble (miniature "African" environments or temples) of the Bahia region, which combine Yoruba, Bantu/Angola, Caboclo, Roman Catholic, and/or Kardecist/Spiritist elements. An initiate herself with more than twenty years of study, the author is considered an insider, and has witnessed how practitioners manipulate the "sacred" to encode, in art and ritual, vital knowledge about meaning, values, epistemologies, and history. She demonstrates how this manipulation provides Brazilian descendents of slaves with a sense of agency -- with a link to their African heritage and a locus for resistance to the dominant Euro-Brazilian culture.
Manipulating the Sacred will be of value to students of art history, religion, anthropology, African American studies, and Latin American studies, and to the growing English-speaking community of initiates of African-based religions.
" Rock Art of Kentucky is the first comprehensive documentation of the fragile remnants of Kentucky's prehistoric Native American rock art sites. Found in twenty-two of Kentucky's counties, these sites pan a period of more than three thousand years. The most frequent design elements in Kentucky rock art are engravings of the footprints of birds, quadrupeds, and humans. Other design elements include anthropomorphs, mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and abstract and geometric figures. Included in the book are stunning illustrations of the sixty confirmed sites and ten destroyed or questionable sites. In the thirty some years during which this information was collected, there has been an alarming deterioration of many of the sites. Ancient carvings have been destroyed by graffiti or have lost extensive detail because of climatic or environmental conditions, such as acid rain. Although all the Kentucky sites are officially listed on the National register of Historic Places, several no long exist or are at present inaccessible. In addition to making data available for the first time to the national and international archaeological community for further comparative and interpretive studies, Rock Art of Kentucky is also for nonspecialists interested in prehistoric Kentucky and Native American studies.
"Benos-Amos opens for the reader richly detailed adn nuanced vistas into the intellectual and cultural history of one of the major kingdoms of precolonial West Africa." African Studies Review
"The wealth of historiographic resources, the command of relevant literature, the ethnographic research and prudent use of oral traditions give this work a high degree of... intellectual excitement.... a landmark in the field." Warren d Azevedo
Making use of archival and oral resources in this extensively researched book, Paula Girshick Ben-Amos questions to what extent art operates as political strategy. How do objects acquire political meaning? How does the use of art enhance and embody power and authority?"
The Mimbres cultural florescence between about AD 1000 and AD 1140 remains one of the most visually astonishing and anthropologically intriguing questions in Southwest prehistory. In this revised edition, noted Mimbres scholar Dr. J. J. Brody incorporates the extensive fieldwork done since the original publication in 1977, updating his discussion of village life, the larger world in which the Mimbres people lived, and how the art that they practiced illuminates these wider issues. He addresses human and animal iconography, the importance of perspective and motion in perceivingMimbres artistry, and the technology used to produce the ceramics. This lively, engaging work will interest archaeologists, art historians, and all people who enjoy the beauty of Mimbres pottery. Featuring over one hundred new illustrations and insights drawn from a lifetime of study and contemplation, this book is much more than a revised edition; it establishes a new standard for the artistic interpretation of a classic Southwestern culture for the new century.
This paper takes as its starting point the theory that Eskimos came to the Americas from Paleolithic Europe, then compares the artwork of both cultures to see if there are any similarities to support this hypothesis.
The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art is an ambitious publishing
endeavor, unparalleled in its comprehensive approach to the study
of art in the United States. Edited by Joan Marter, Distinguished
Professor of Art History at Rutgers University, the five-volume
Encyclopedia reconceptualizes American Art from the vantage point
of the twenty-first century with a new methodological approach and
broader scope than any such work published to date. The project
takes a fresh look at what American art is, how it is defined, and
who influenced it and produced it, and it offers a new foundation
for scholarship for decades to come.
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