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He called himself "le nègre de Carouge," one of his typically provocative wavs of distinguishing himself from the self-righteous bourgeois circles that, surrounded him while he lived in Geneva—John Calvin's town—where he had his studios. Despite such reservations, painter Emile Chambon (1905-1993) was deeply attached to Carouge, the ancient city on the outskirts of Geneva, and he had hoped that his works would be assembled there one day in a museum bearing his name. In the past, more so then than today, the two towns were in stark contrast to one another by virtue of the history, religion, activities, and lifestyles of their inhabitants. Until recently, the residents of Carouge were mainly artisans, small shop owners, workers, and artistic types of all kinds...
In the following interview Clamra Célestin tells us about his lifelong involvement with African tribal art, from his boyhood in Chad to his present life in New York and Paris. His early experiences with the art as healing implements offer insights beyond those collectors usually have. And his observations from the perspective of an African collector provide us with food for thought. Clamra’s life as a collector is indeed a case study. From his early years of buying contemporary African sculpture to satisfy a hunger for the art to his advanced connoisseurship of African tribal art, his story contains much to which we can relate. As happens with so many of us, there was a turning point after which he was able to recognize authentic ritually used ancestral art. In his case, this happened during his apprenticeship with famed collector Werner Muensterberger. Clamra’s sense of purpose as a collector and ancestral guardian has freed him from the conflicts often found in the pursuit of collecting tribal art. He is a dedicated collector who continues to learn, trusts his instincts, and remembers his raison d’être. His memoir is scheduled to be published in English at the end of 2017 by Ohio University Press. The French version, titled "Fils du Ciel: De Kindiri à Manhattan", was published by l’Harmattan in Paris in 2011. Discover the full interview by downloading the PDF below or click here : https://youtu.be/Nswxxej4ioA for more info!
J. P. Cobb - Tribute
Jonathan “J. P.” Cobb was an indefatigable art collector, art lover, and fun lover. Born and bred in San Francisco, he was proudly old fashioned in a gentlemanly way and enjoyed complaining about the modern world while playing quaint old tunes on a piano in his antiques-filled parlor. He also enjoyed debating and would spice conversations with acerbic asides. He loved to haunt auction houses, shops, and galleries, where he would discover treasures to restore. J. P.’s knowledge of tex- tiles, antiquities, and Asian and ethnic art was vast. His knowledge of Yoruba art and culture was especially deep. He was known to sometimes wear African costumes and actually dance his masks...
Michael D. Coe
One of the world’s most accomplished scholars of the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica is Michael D. Coe, Charles J. McCurdy Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University. He has had a long and distinguished career. He began his work in Mesoamerica with an archaeological excavation on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, an area rich in Early Formative sites. His great “dirt work,” as he puts it, was at the Olmec site of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, on the East Coast of Mexico, near the city of Veracruz. Among other accomplishments, with his bare hands he dug out of the earth one of the most prized Olmec stone sculptures, Monument 34, all the more familiar after its iconic inclusion in Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in late 2010...
Joseph Cornet - Tribute
I first met Father Cornet about five years ago in his pleasant country house near Liège, where he was enjoying the autumn of his life. It immediately struck me that a man in his late seventies could be so dedicated to a new machine—his computer—with which he could do almost everything that he valued. He used it to study, archive, and write, and he could talk for hours about this great invention that made his life so much easier. This shouldn’t have been so surprising, since his life was devoted to study, teaching, and art. He authored a number of books about African art that today are classics for every professional and collector. As an academic, he was suspicious of art dealers and, as one, I found it difficult to win his trust...
Arnold Crane - Tribute
Any visitors to Arnold Crane’s Chicago apartment realized immediately that they were in the presence of a passionate collector. Whether American Indian jewelry, African bronzes and weapons, European wooden walking canes and staffs, books, or his most beloved cameras, Arnold collected with great enthusiasm and in depth. Trained as a trial attorney, Arnold was a superb photographer first and foremost. His unbridled devotion to photography and his flawless eye for greatness resulted in his amassing an extraordinary collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century photography that now forms the cornerstone of the Getty Museum’s photographic collection. When the Crane Collection entered the Getty in 1984, it included more than 1,000 Walker Evans images and the world’s largest holdings of the modernists Man Ray and László Moholy-Nagy.
René & Odette Delenne
This past June the Cleveland Museum of Art announced its acquisition of a selection of Congo sculptures from the collection of René and Odette Delenne in Brussels. Comprising thirty-five works of different regional and cultural attributions, the addition of this collection—resulting from a gift/purchase agreement— substantially increases the CMA’s permanent African art holdings. The Delenne Collection elevates the quality of the museum’s Central African collection to the highest echelon and arguably places it on equal footing with some of the best museum collections of this material in North America...
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.
Enrico Donati (b. 1909) is perhaps the last living Surrealist artist closely associated with the movement’s acknowledged leader, the French writer, critic, and theorist André Breton. Donati was an intimate friend of Breton, as well as of Marcel Duchamp, and was a key figure in the community of European expatriate artists living and working in New York during the World War II era. At the age of ninety-eight, he continues to live and work there. Donati was born geographically in the Old World and reborn artistically—twice—in the New World. A native of Milan, Italy, Donati pursued his first great passion—music—by completing a course in musical composition at the Milan Conservatory.1 Beginning in 1933, he practiced his musical métier in Paris, where he also studied old art in the museums and new art in the galleries...
“There are as many ways of photographing as there are photographers, just as there are as many ways of looking at an art object as there are people who look at it.” This sentiment, which Hugues Dubois expressed at the beginning of the interview below, invites an additional thought that this photographer, whose lenses have captured so many masterpieces but who is restrained by modesty, would never state: “Not all ways of looking at an object are of equal value.” That said, Dubois’ way is certainly exceptional. It is sensitive, respectful, analytical, and curious, and it testifies to a deep knowledge of and intimacy with the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas developed in the course of a career that has already spanned more than thirty years...