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Charles & Valérie Diker
October 4, 2018, marked a significant milestone at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. On that day, historical Native American art took its place in the museum’s American Wing in a new installation, Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection. The presentation represents the fi rst signifi cant display of Native art ever to be installed in the American Wing, which has been devoted to Euro-American art since it was established in 1924. Driven in large part by New York collectors and philanthropists Charles and Valerie Diker, this initiative is particularly important in that Native art has not been relegated to its own gallery but instead is now presented on an equal footing with Euro-American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts, together forming a complete panorama of the arts from the North American continent. Click on "PDF" to read the full article.
Martin Wright - Tribute
BORN IN 1930 into the Great Depression, Martin Wright never took his achievements for granted. A hard worker, he acquired an education in law and business administration and went on to specialize in tax law, which led him to a successful career as an attorney and a certified accountant. Married to Faith-dorian, an artist who loved and collected Native American, African, and Oceanic art, Martin became involved in the acquisition of an art form that at first was not familiar to him, but, in typical fashion, he strove to acquire the very best in these fields, eventually becoming an enamored and knowledgeable collector. Following his sense of adventure and his philosophical interest in art, Martin traveled from Easter Island to Mali, from Alaska to Bali, and to many other destinations throughout the world, but, on principle, his acquisitions were always made in Europe and in the United States. Together, he and Faith became influential members of the collection committees of leading museums, key among them the Israel Museum, for which Martin worked tirelessly and voluntarily to strengthen its holdings of African, Oceanic, and American Northwest Coast art. Martin became the Honorary Acting Senior Curator of the museum’s AOA Department and its galleries were named for him and Faith-dorian, anticipating a future in which, with their help, the Israel Museum would come to be considered one of the world’s important centers for African and Oceanic art. (...) Find the entire article in the Winter Issue of Tribal Art magazine (T90).
About ten of us are waiting in line to get in. I hear peacocks and parrots cawing in the distance, and the scents of nature and fl owers fill the spring air. A few minutes later, Steffen makes his appearance. His firm and friendly handshake, his self-assured demeanor, and his broad and sincere smile invite us to follow him. His house is located a few meters from the entrance to the Pairi Daiza, the famous animal park a few miles from the city of Mons in Belgium that has recently been named the best zoo in Europe. As I passed through the door to his place, I had the impression I was entering into a palace of a thousand treasures. Unusual sculptures were everywhere, illuminated by enchanting light fi xtures. A collection of korwars adorned the mantelpiece and Buddha statuettes were grouped together in a recessed niche, side by side with old maps. A group of shrunken heads elegantly lined up on a cabinet echoed the New Guinea fi gures and the Australian shields visible in nooks elsewhere in the room. In front of a library overfilled with books on exotic voyages, a superb albatross appeared to be flying off above our heads. The sounds of Gregorian chant, for which, he later told us, he has a particular fondness, were the musical backdrop to this scene. The ambience certainly was conducive to speaking in confidence.
Ezio Bassani - Tribute
AFTER A BRIEF ILLNESS, Ezio Bassani, the doyen of Italian Africanists, left us on a hot morning in the beginning of August 2018. He was about to reach his ninety-fourth birthday. He was tired but alert, and he was still working on a concept for a new exhibition a few days before his death. To the very end Bassani stayed true to himself: passionate, engaged, intransigent, and a “partisan” of the universal values that the African continent’s artistic expressions manifest. Bassani had been a real partisan long ago when he joined the resistance against fascism and Nazism in the later years of WWII. As he fought side by side with other young combatants in the mountains, he dreamed of a better future for Italy. In these dramatic circumstances he met Edmea, also a partisan, who became his wife, his muse, and his partner for seventy years. He had not yet fallen in love with African art, but this experience forged his character and shaped his nature. After the war, Bassani frequented a milieu of artists, and through them, almost by accident, he discovered African art. It was love at fi rst sight—a total and all but physical passion was born in him. Self-taught, he did what he could to learn about the fi eld in Italy, though it was practically unknown there. He studied, made observations and mistakes, and progressed until he found his path. The chance he had been waiting for was offered to him in the 1970s by noted art critic Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti, who opened the doors of the International University of Florence to him and oriented him toward the history of public and private collections, particularly the older and established ones. (...) Read more in the Winter Issue of Tribal Art magazine (T90).
For years now, a number of us have been wanting to tip our hats in respect to Raoul Lehuard, just to show our affection and appreciation for him. Time has passed, and nothing has been done, so I’m taking the opportunity to write about my friend Raoul and about the passion he has shared with us over the years through Arts d’Afrique Noire, the celebrated magazine that first appeared in 1972, which has helped many of us to better understand the African continent and its customs. Indeed Arts d’Afrique Noire was founded at an opportune moment, a time at which the public was ready to be seduced by the forms of artistic expression it is devoted to...
Liliane & Michel Durand-Dessert
Sculpted bodies, the art of a distant continent, the passion of collecting ... . These are some of the qualities that will be evoked in a special exhibition sponsored by the annual tribal art event in Paris called Parcours des Mondes 2008. This special show will be hosted by the historic Hôtel de la Monnaie de Paris (the old Paris mint) from September 10 24, 2008, and is intended to embody the spirit of the Parcours, which strives to promote appreciation of and encourage the development of new interest for non-Western art. With this installation of nearly 150 unique sculptures from many parts of Africa, Fragments of the Living: African Sculptures from the Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert Collection will offer a view of an intimate and impassioned approach to art...
Tim Hunt - Tribute
Tim Hunt recently re-emerged into the tribal art world as a New York–based dealer in fine African and Oceanic art. “Re-emerged,” as he was in fact long in the field, having started his profession at Christie’s tribal art department in London in 1980, where he worked with Hermione Waterfield and Bill Fagg. He left Christie’s in 1986 for a long stint at the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York, where for almost thirty years he served as chief curator and headed the sales of foundation-owned Warhol artworks. Throughout his time at the nexus of the contemporary art scene, which involved his attendance at important annual art fairs such as Art Basel, Frieze, and Maastricht, Tim maintained a strong interest in tribal art and would make time on a regular basis to visit most of the international tribal art fairs in New York, Paris, Brussels, and San Francisco. As much as he loved the life of a Warhol insider, Tim’s heart was connected to the people and art he first experienced in London...
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Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller - Tribute
Jean-Paul, when I reread the hundreds of emails you sent me, I worry that my weak prose might make you smile. Because everything is to be found in what you wrote: biblical, literary, and artistic knowledge; clever commentary, often humorous and sometimes ferocious. Your judgments on our common passions—on dealers, collectors, auction houses—have been as expected as they were feared, and they were always pertinent. Your superb magazine, Arts and Cultures, was a refl ection of its founder, and the two words of its title perfectly express and embody who you are. Your son Gabriel, who produced an exhibition on the Samurai, said of this order that they wanted to teach honor, benevolence, loyalty, writing, and poetry to the young. You have done all that—as a collector, a museum director, an exhibition curator, and a researcher, but particularly as a friend.