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Tim Hunt

Tim Hunt - Tribute

United States

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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Norman Hurst

Norman Hurst - Tribute

Gallery owner
United Kingdom

Located in the heart of the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Hurst Gallery has long been a visible landmark within a stimulating academic world whose reputation is firmly rooted in cultural institutions such as the venerable Peabody, Fogg, and Arthur Sackler Museums. Born in 1944, Norman Hurst was to embark on a lifelong study of the traditional arts of China, Japan, India, the Greco-Roman world, Egyptian antiquity, and the Middle East. He was able to integrate the tribal art heritages of the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, and Oceania into this inclusive vision. In addition to running his retail gallery for more than thirty years, Norman was a respected appraiser and art consultant who aided innumerable museums, historical societies, and individual collectors...


Anthony " Tobi " Jack - Tribute

United Kingdom

Anthony (Tobi) Jack died in London on June 22. 2012. I Ie was part of the tribal art world in that city for the last fifty years, having relocated there from his native New-Zealand in the early 1960s. His early education at a fine school in Auckland was not remembered with relish but it inculcated the discipline of a scholar that suffused his dealings for the rest of his life. His love of ethnographic artifacts began as a youth in New Zealand, where his appreciation of the art of objects from the Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations was nurtured bv frequent trips to the Auckland museum...

William Jamieson

William Jamieson - Tribute


The tribal art world lost one of its endearing originals this last July 3 with the passing of William Jamieson, on his fifty-seventh birthday. Though he may be remembered as an engaging and enthusiastic collector of shrunken heads and other oddities, Bill was a serious art dealer, at times obtaining record prices for his objects. Never one to shy away from publicity, he was in the process of completing the first season of a new series for television’s History Channel. In an example of the business acumen that made him successful, Jamieson bought the Niagara Falls Museum in 1999. Among its riches were nine Egyptian mummies that he sold to Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum, one of which turned out to be that of Pharaoh Ramesses I. It was eventually repatriated to Egypt with a PBS TV special covering the whole story...

Seward Kennedy

Seward Kennedy - Tribute

United Kingdom

I first met Seward Kennedy soon after I started working for Bonham’s, London, in late 1988, and we formed a friendly relationship shortly thereafter. We shared a liking not only for nice ethnographical objects but also for the banter and comradeship that was found on Portobello Road’s Saturday mornings. At that time, Seward was coming to the end of a hyperactive collecting phase. He had seen so much and came to believe that the barrel of cornucopic riches was getting close to empty. About the time I left Bonham’s a few years later, he mentioned that if I ever needed some things to sale, I should give him a call and he could see what he could part with. He lived around the corner from me on Gledhow Gardens in South Kensington, and it was easy for me to pass by. I well remember one of our fi rst transactions. I had a client who wanted to collect ibeji twin fi gures, and Seward said that he had some. We made a rendezvous and at the appointed hour, he strolled over with two carry bags full of ibejis, maybe a dozen couples in all. We agreed on some prices, and later that evening the client came by. As the quality was excellent and the prices reasonable, he bought most of them. The payment was quick, and Seward was content. I had no idea how many ibejis he possessed, but on the client’s subsequent visit to London, I asked Seward again, and he duly popped over with another very saleable tranche. This went on for several years, and in the end I must have sold more than a hundred of them. (...)

Justin & Barbara Kerr

Justin & Barbara Kerr

United States

For more than a hundred years, photographers have opened the world’s eyes to the Maya. At the turn of the century, explorers took wet- plate cameras into the jungle and emerged with marvelous pictures of ruins, sculpture, and fantastic glyphs. And in our own day a Bronx-born ex-fashion photographer has continued the tradition. From his cluttered studio in New York’s Flatiron district, Justin Kerr is helping Mayanists make new discoveries with thousands of images that he distributes free to scholars. Kerr has revolutionized the way photographers portray ancient artifacts. He has perfected a camera that turns the designs on cylindrical pots into panoramas. His photographs have led to new thinking about art and the ancient Maya, and he has changed the way we see the past...

Carl Kjersmeier

Carl Kjersmeier


Carl Kjersmeier was a versatile man. He was known as an art historian who wrote and lectured about the arts of far continents, as a translator and publisher of Asian and African poems, and—not the least—as the owner of a large and internationally recognized collection of African art. Born in 1889, Kjersmeier moved to Copenhagen to study law in 1907. During his studies there, he endeavored to build a career as a poet by writing and publishing his own collection of poems. His interests at the time appeared to focus less on law and more on poetry and the translation of French and other European literature. After completing his law degree, Kjersmeier devoted more and more time to foreign language, popular poetry, and translations. His own poetry receded into the background. After the end of World War I in 1918, the recently married Kjersmeier and his wife Amalie traveled widely in Europe...

Armand Labbé

Armand Labbé - Tribute

United States

Armand Labbé, director of research and collections, and chief curator at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, California, died April 2, 2005, after a long and valiant battle with cancer. He was acclaimed for his scholarship, skill as an educator, personal charm, and generosity. His loss is a tremendous blow to the ethnic art community. Labbé was a respected authority on pre- Columbian art and on traditional societies in Africa, Thailand, and Oceania. He curated a number of significant exhibitions at the Bowers, including Colombia Before Columbus, which was the first exhibition of Columbian pre-Hispanic ceramics in North America. Other major exhibitions Labbé curated include Ban Chiang: Prehistoric Treasures of Northeast Thailand, the most comprehensive exhibit of this early metalworking civilization, and Tribute to the Gods: Treasures of the Museo del Oro...

Luciano Lanfranchi

Luciano Lanfranchi


The Italo-Swiss businessman Luciano Lanfranchi has been an important art collector for more than forty years. Surrounded by an eclectic array of paintings and sculptures from all corners of the world, Luciano has a very personal approach but at the same time demonstrates the importance of being well prepared to make informed choices in the fi eld of tribal art. Tribal Art Magazine: When we fi rst met more than twenty years ago, I remember that you had a great collection of traditional African art—with some world-renowned masterpieces such as the Blanckaert Hemba fi gure—alongside a wonderful collection of modern art. Can you tell me what inspired you to start collecting African art back in the 1980s? Luciano Lanfranchi: My rapport with African art (and “primitive art” in general) started in 1984 in New York on the occasion of the now legendary “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art exhibition at MoMA. I was both fascinated and taken aback by the show!

Pierre Langlois

Pierre Langlois - Tribute


Pierre Langlois has died. He left as he had hoped to, discretely and quietly. His departure marks the end of the era of tribal art dealers who collected in situ and returned with pieces to offer. Born in Lille in 1927, Langlois didn’t care for school , and the Second World War made life diffi cult. He joined the army, which sent him to Indochina, where the situation was relatively calm. When he returned to France, he worked for a while with his father, a sales representative in the liquor industry, and concurrently began to associate with young people interested in art: Evrard the book dealer, Dodeigne the sculptor, and Leroy the painter. These relationships opened new horizons to him. One of these friends spoke to him of a remarkable book about the Dogon of Mali, Dieu d’Eau (God of Water), by Marcel Griaule, the head of the Dakar-Djibouti Expedition. Pierre’s interest was piqued, and he boarded a ship for Abidjan, from where he traveled by truck to the Dogon area. He quickly established friendly relations with young people there, who took him to the cliffs where there were tombs replete with sculptures. Upon his return, his friend Evrard pushed for organizing an exhibition and a catalog.