All the people reviews
Hugo A. Bernatzik
The Austrian anthropologist and photographer Hugo A. Bernatzik was and still is a controversial figure, not only among German scholars, but also in the wider field of anthropology. Who was this man and why is he and his work still viewed by many through the narrow prism of the past? Both inside and outside academic anthropology, Bernatzik’s brilliant photographic work is unquestioned. His photographs from West Africa, the Sudan, Melanesia, and Southeast Asia are impressive examples of a new style in visual anthropology that emerged in the 1920s and ‘30s. Bernatzik did not show other people and cultures as oddities, but instead captured images that revealed a very special respect for his subjects. His photographs shaped impressions of other cultures all over Europe, in part because his popular books were translated into many languages. His richly illustrated articles for German, Austrian, and Swiss magazines were also published in the Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, Italy, France, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada...
Nancy Blomberg - Tribute
I FIRST MET NANCY BLOMBERG in 2006 while developing an article about a major expansion at the Denver Art Museum. She met me at the door of the new Daniel Libeskind–designed buliding and showed me the recent installation of African art, a modest collection overshadowed by a masterpiece Fang mask. She then asked if I’d like to see some Native American art. Of course I would. We crossed the street to the older Gio Ponti building, went up an elevator, and entered her realm—nearly a full fl oor of the museum with a vast and extraordinary collection of American Indian material, both historic and contemporary. I don’t recall how long we spent looking at treasure after treasure, but I do know I missed subsequent appointments. She spoke of the material casually but sensitively, always emphasizing that any given object was art rather than artifact. The article we ran could not have been completed without her patient help, and she was always prompt and generous in providing information in the years since. Nancy was born Nancy Jean Bastian in Aurora, Illinois. Her first museum job was at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. She had moved to Alaska with her husband, Art, who had been transferred there by the Air Force, and began as a volunteer. It wasn’t long before she was hired as a curator. She worked at museums in Los Angeles before joining the Denver Art Museum in 1974 as an associate curator. In her twenty-eight years there she rose to become the museum’s chief curator. Nancy’s emphasis was not only the “art” aspect of a given object, but also on the contribution of the artist who created it, and this was a focal point of her reinstallation of the Native American gallery in 2011, as well as the many exhibitions she produced. A woman working in a predominantly male field, her achievements had considerable visibility, and she served as an inspiration for many, though she likely never intended to. She will be missed. Jonathan Fogel
For François Boulanger, whose good-natured silhouette is well known to every Belgian tribal art dealer, “collectors do not readily appreciate the true value of small ethnographic pieces.” That is how humbly he qualifies the works in his collection, which is as atypical as it is exceptional. In the course of the last twenty-five years, François, with the unwavering support of his wife Françoise (many collectors would envy him for her limitless devotion to the cause of the collection), has amassed no fewer than 900 African works. “But these are only small objects,” he says, a bit defensively, “musical instruments, 500 sanzas— at one time, I had nearly as many as Tervuren. And there are also the drums and whistles.”...
An accomplished artist working in painting, drawing, and sculpture, sixty-year-old Michel Boulanger is a Belgian who has been a singularly passionate collector of tribal art for fifteen years. A selection of pieces from his collection will be on display October 15–17, 2004, at a home in Spa, Belgium, the latest building of the architect Bernard Herbecq. His own works will be shown in November at Galerie S65 in Cologne.
Francine Bourla - Tribute
Francine Bourla is no longer with us. Her friends will no longer see her crouched in the corner of Galerie du Scorpion, her Parisian den on rue Galande, suspiciously watching passers-by. She was the good dragon, a wild animal—ferocious, a little bit the shaman, with few illusions about the world and humanity. But despite this gruffness, she was fundamentally and completely generous. Francine never liked to speak about her past, and her friends had to wait for the eulogy by her son, political journalist Bernard Guetta, at the Montparnasse cemetery, to have some idea of the frightening tribulations she endured as an adolescent during the war years. From this hell she emerged strong and intractable, and with an extreme perspective of humanity. On the one side, there was the good minority; and on the other, the bad, the great masses of “those with no opinion.”...
David Bromwell - Tribute
Last October, the San Francisco Bay Area lost one of its most refined collectors and a true gentleman with the passing of C. David Bromwell. David had a fine eye for the exquisite, and over the last fifteen years he focused on small-scale artworks from around the world. He practiced an almost Buddhist quality of moderation, and moderately sized tribal art was a perfect fit for his lifestyle. He also collected contemporary art, again focusing on small but important works by California artists such as Wayne Thiebaud. Although shy, David welcomed visitors to view his artfully displayed collections. He was exceedingly generous with donations to Bay Area museums and loans to exhibitions. Although he was in fragile health following a complete bone marrow transplant in 1989, he took complete advantage of the rich local culture, attending concerts and dining in ethnic restaurants...
Françoise Calmon - Tribute
Françoise Calmon left us on the first of last September. A photographer by profession, her relationship with Africa which she maintained since 1975 led to collaboration with the most important galleries of tribal art. Her love of objects as well as travel—she participated in an expedition in Papua New Guinea—did not stand in the way of other passions, of which fishing was a major one. Those who knew her were confronted with a fascinating but sometimes abrupt person, although behind this façade of a strong, fiercely independent woman hid a being that was authentic, sincere, fragile, and deeply human. Since she has gone, we feel her absence, more and more every day.
Didac Caparros - Tribute
Didac Caparros was raised in France, his Catalonian parents having found refuge there after fleeing Franco’s Spain in the early 1960s. After obtaining an advanced degree in economics in Paris in 1975, he married and fathered two children, Marjorie and Rémy. He discovered Africa with his second wife, Edith, a Cameroonian with an avid interest in traditional art and culture. They married in 1990 and began to travel in Africa and frequent galleries in Paris and elsewhere. Spain had changed and his roots beckoned him, and he returned to Barcelona with his wife in 1996. They opened Galerie Oba in 1998 and trips to Africa, which combined visits to his in-laws with a search for objects, became increasingly frequent...
Edmund Carpenter - Tribute
When the exhibition Upside Down: Arctic Realities opened at The Menil Collection in Houston, its curator, Dr. Edmund Carpenter, was not there. Paradoxically, his absence underscored his creative genius. With this show, the eighty-eight-year-old anthropologist concluded a sublime perform- ance as an explorer of other realities and imaginaries. Ever since he first traveled to Southampton Island in northwest Hudson Bay for fieldwork among the Aivilingmiut in 1950, Carpenter had been drawn to the solitude of the Arctic: “In winter the horizon recedes into the immense distance ... there is no line dividing earth from sky. The two are of the same substance ... . What appeared to me as monotonous land was, to [these Inuit,] filled with meaningful reference points ...”. At the Menil and later at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, aided by light-and-space artist Douglas Wheeler, Carpenter transformed a large gallery into an illusion of boundless white space to experience the magic of hundreds of precious ivory carvings, dozens of stunning masks, and so much more, excavated and collected in the Circumpolar region—all displayed in ice-like glass boxes with rumbling sounds of cracking sea-ice recorded on location in Nunavut...
Bill Caskey - Tribute
Bill Caskey, partner in the show promotions company Caskey Lees, was born to Dorothy and Elmer Caskey in 1947. He spent his early childhood in Ashland, KY, and later attended high school in Dayton, OH. A serious car accident at the age of nineteen resulted in a substantial insurance settlement and, under his mother’s guidance, Bill frequented local antiques auctions and acquired several valuable pieces. These early antiquing years fueled a lifelong love of antiques and art. In 1969 Bill moved to Toronto, where he met his first wife, Sandra. Together they ran Red Lion Antiques, The Collectors Book Shelf, and The Indian Gallery. During this time, Bill also opened Horizon Enterprises, which produced antique shows across Canada. His daughter, Netanya, was born in 1978. Bill returned to the U.S. in 1982 and settled in California with his second wife, Elizabeth, and stepson, Brandon. Netanya joined them in 1991. Together Bill and Liz founded Caskey Lees, an antique fair production house, and also exhibited their own materials in antique shows across the country.