Latest books reviews
Plains Indian Art of the Early Reservation Era. The Donald Danforth Jr. Colletion at the Saint Louis Art Museum - (ENGLISH)
St. Louis businessman and philanthropist Donald Dan- forth Jr. (1932–2001) developed a love for Native Ameri- can culture and the West during his childhood. Over the course of his lifetime, he amassed a collection of artworks and artifacts created by members of indigenous groups from the Plains and Plateau at a time when Native Ame- ricans were adapting their mobile, equestrian lifestyles to the con nes of reservations. The collection is particularly strong in beadwork and quillwork on hide, including moc- casins, clothing, pipe bags, assorted bags, pouches and cases, jewelry, children’s items, and horse regalia. In 2010, Danforth’s widow, Carolyn, gave 251 works from the col- lection to the Saint Louis Art Museum, greatly enhancing its holdings in this eld. This fully illustrated catalog documents 138 objects from this collection through essays by an array of notable experts, supported with historical photos and artworks. It also discusses Danforth and his sensibilities as a collector of Native American art. This collection doucuments the remarkable creativity of a tumultuous period of change and is a valuable resource for experts and beginners alike.
Ibeji. Divins jumeaux - Divine Twins - (ENGLISH / FRENCH)
By Xavier Richter, a long-time ibeji enthusiast and connoisseur of the arts of West Africa, this book offers a comprehensive overview of the traditions of twin statuary of the Yoruba of Nigeria and Benin. The key to this book’s success is a collection of eighty beautiful objects, the sensitive photographs of them taken by Christophe di Pascale, and the varied and informative text about them that provides valuable contextual details. The book combines personal refl ections and avowals of passion for Africa and its art forms with excellent and instructive text, which includes a remarkable introduction by Hélène Joubert, curator of the African patrimony at the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and a recognized Yoruba specialist. The story of the apparition of twins as explained by Yoruba oral tradition is discussed, and the detailed commentaries that accompany the objects, which are organized according to style centers, are valuable contributions to our understanding of this rich tradition.
Parcours des Mondes Catalogue 2016 - (ENGLISH / FRENCH)
The catalogue of Parcours des Mondes 2016 will be on sale as from August 15, 2015 at the rate of $20 on our website. The catalogue has been published in Belgium in August 2016: 186 pages and more than 300 color illustrations.
Special Issue #6: Amazonia. The Shaman and the Mind of the Forest - (ENGLISH / FRENCH)
The subject of this special issue is the fabulous exhibition Amazonia. The Shaman and the Mind of the Forest (Amazonie. le chamane et la pensée de la forêt), organized by the Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève and curated by its director, Boris Wastiau from May 20 until January 8, 2017. Formed using material exclusively from the MEG’s outstanding collection, this exhibition examines the shamanic practices shared by the extraordinary variety of cultures spanning the nine countries of the Amazon Basin rainforest. As the visitor to the show or the reader of this issue will note, this diversity is subtly manifested in the material culture of these peoples, especially in feather art.
African Textiles. The Karun Thakar Collection - (ENGLISH)
This book offers a fascinating journey through the history and culture of textiles in Africa drawn from the private collection of Karun Thakar. Consisting of more than 4,000 pieces, it is widely considered to be one of the fi nest in the world. Since it is based on a single collection, it is not an encyclopedic survey, but rather highlights material that has been available on the market over the course of a generation. It features rare and exquisite textiles from Central, North, and West Africa and includes weavings from Ghana, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire; embroideries, veils, and haiks from Morocco and Tunisia; and raffi a fabrics from Congo. Organized by region, each piece is dramatically photographed to highlight the extraordinary colors, patterns, and skill with which it was created. The book provides not only a thrilling sample of timeless patterns and designs, but also a historical perspective that deepens our understanding of the importance of woven materials in the African tradition.
Out of the Amazon. Material Culture, Myth, and Reality in the Amazon - (ENGLISH)
Priceless pieces from the Amazonia collection at the Houston Museum of Natural Science—ceremonial objects, masks, body costumes, headdresses, and other rare artifacts—are showcased in the special exhibition Out of the Amazon: Life on the River. Sharing the story of thirteen tribes, visitors are offered a glimpse of everyday life, as well as the spiritual beliefs and customs, among the rapidly disappearing indigenous groups of the Amazon rainforest. This richly illustrated book is the catalog for this exhibition, but also stands on its own as a fi ne and welcome addition to this little-published fi eld. It also highlights this museum’s remarkable collection of more than 4,000 objects representing some 130 tribes, many of which no longer exist, details of which are elucidated in fourteen essays authored by Adam Mekler, associate curator of Amazonia at the HMNS, Dirk Van Tuerenhout, and Daniel Brooks. The standout pieces are the characteristic brightly colored featherwork objects, but examples of less-well-known art forms such as basketry, wood sculpture, and body adornment in bone, seeds, and fi ber are also featured.
Guerrero Art. L’art de la sculpture Mezcala et Chontal dans le Mexique précolombien - (ENGLISH / FRENCH)
This well-conceived book presents evidence of the signifi cant contribution played by chance and human encounters in the evolution of knowledge. Guerrero Art arose from a single small fi gure carved from black stone that the collector Daniel Lebard received as a gift from his wife. With almost disturbing ease, this unexpected surprise plunged him into a passion for the enigmatic Pre-Columbian art of the Mexican region of Guerrero. It also served as the trigger for the formation of a strong friendship between Lebard and Santo Micali—a recognized specialist in the fi eld of Pre-Columbian art and the director of Galerie Mermoz—centered around countless exchanges on the subject of their now-shared interest. Highlighting some forty superb sculptures from the Lebard Collection through the beautifully detailed photographs of Frédéric Dehaen, Guerrero Art stands out as a unique contribution to the study of Pre-Columbian art. The author of the book, Bénédicte Hamard, is a fount of knowledge on the subject of the fi gurative statuary of Guerrero, which dates from around 500–100 BC, according to the generally accepted chronology. His text is concise but fi lled with interesting information. It discusses the formal canon displayed by the corpus of objects, which seems to derive from a shared archetype. There is also discussion of stylistic differences, iconography, and sculptural techniques. The artists of ancient Guerrero were true masters of stone carving. While the resolutely aesthetic quality of this art is exalted on its own terms, the book concludes with a discussion of the infl uence of Guerrero art on the development of the visual language of the Western avant-garde in the early twentieth century. The work of Henry Moore and Brancusi speaks for itself.
Ode au grand art africain: les statues meurent aussi - (FRENCH)
This catalogue accompanies the exhibition "Ode au grand art africain. Les statues meurent aussi" organized by Parcours des Mondes from September to October, 2010 in collaboration with La Monnaie de Paris. The catalogue provides the complete and systematic inventory of the 135 artworks filmed by Alain Renais and Chris Marker in 1935 in major private and museum collections. Several reflexion texts about the scope of the movie and the context of realization accompanies this large inventory.