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Peter Loebarth

Peter Loebarth - Tribute

Collector
Germany

Peter Loebarth has passed away on July 25 at the age of seventyfour, after a long illness. Born in Memel, Lithuania, in 1941, Peter grew up in Hameln, Germany. He traveled a great deal professionally throughout Europe and also in Africa, notably in Botswana, Togo, Egypt, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which he visited on several occasions. From his first stay there, he became actively interested in African art. Peter developed a great sensibility for old and high-quality objects, and the great number of works he collected aroused the interest of many Western dealers. A large number of pieces he collected are today in important collections, including those of Baselitz and Muhlack, to name just a few. They regularly come up for sale at major auctions as well. In addition to works from Tanzania and the Congo, he also collected many Lobi artworks. From 1987 until 1991, Peter ran the Balolu Gallery in Amsterdam in partnership with Gerbrand Luttik. The adventure was short-lived however, since Peter’s many activities left him too little time to devote to it. His many travels and contacts in Africa had also given him a thorough knowledge of political relations, and he had become a sought-after spokesperson and advisor. Had it not been for his tragic illness, Peter would still be a central figure in the tribal art world today, thanks to his experience, his contacts, and his immense knowledge of the field.

George Lois

George Lois

Art director
United States

George Lois is a world-renowned advertising “guru” and communications innovator whose long and outstanding career has been the subject of numerous accolades, not in the least a 2008 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that focused on thirty-two magazine covers designed by him for Esquire in the 1960s and ‘70s. Now in his eighties, George remains active today and has been a subscriber to Tribal Art magazine since issue #1 twenty years ago. We speak to him about his passion for art...

Martha W. Longenecker

Martha W. Longenecker - Tribute

Collector
United States

Martha Longenecker, who died this past November at the age of ninety- three after a brief illness, was one of those rare individuals whose artistic spirit, will, and relentless drive left a lasting legacy in the art world. As a teacher (professor of art at San Diego State University), artist, and founding director of the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, she saw the power of visual expression and its relationship to spiritual self, as well as to the larger world of mankind. I first met Martha in 2003 at the memorial for Billy Pearson, my wife Mia Pearson’s father. Billy and Martha had been close for more than fifty years, sharing a passion for art through a similar critical eye...

Ross Lovegrove

Ross Lovegrove

Artist
United Kingdom

Ross Lovegrove is an innovative designer/ sculptor of international renown based in London. As a tribal art collector, Ross is eclectic but highly aesthetic in his choices, which usually combine material, form, and function. I met him in his high-tech studio in Notting Hill Gate, where contemporary design items mingle comfortably with prehistoric tools and bone implements ... among other things...

Daniel Malcolm

Daniel Malcolm - Tribute

Collector
United States

Born in New York City on April 17, 1929, graduated from the medical school of the Columbia University and established in Tenafly, New Jersey, Daniel Malcolm fell in love with african art in 1966 during the exhibition "L’art nègre: sources, évolution, expansion", which traveled from Paris to Dakar. Over the course of nearly five decades, Daniel and his wife, Marian, built one of the finest collections of traditional sub-Saharan art in the world.

Michael Martin

Michael Martin

Collector
Australia

By profession Michael Martin is a radiologist and by avocation a serious collector of New Guinea and Polynesian art. Because he is based in Melbourne, he is not an especially familiar face at auctions and galleries in Europe and the United States, but his reach is long, and over the last decade and a half he has developed a well-chosen collection of artworks that includes a number of noteworthy and iconic examples. He has a particular affinity for objects that are early, masterfully rendered, and that demonstrate clear signs of use and care from their original owners. We had the pleasure of sharing a fi ne lunch with him on a sunny afternoon at an old bistro in Paris during the most recent Parcours des Mondes and chatted about his interests.

Patrice Masseboeuf

Patrice Masseboeuf

Collector
France

Patrice Masseboeuf is an art lover, collector, and a former vice-president of the Musée Vivant des Arts et des Civilisations Africaines de Nantes. Initiated by an antique dealer, he has been into african art for more than 40 years. He is the curator of several exhibitions.

Ron  Messick

Ron Messick - Tribute

Dealer
United States

The friends of Ron Messick are too many to count and we share a collective grief at his untimely passing. Nine years ago, Ron and his long-time partner Paul Rochford opened a gallery featuring indigenous and colonial art of North and South America in a 250-year-old adobe house on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico. With an unerring eye for pottery, textiles, paintings, and furniture, they also included objects from North Africa and even presented one of the first important exhibitions of Himalayan masks ever held in the United States. With a keen aesthetic, genuine warmth, and broad-ranging knowledge that made clients feel ever comfortable, theirs was an immediate success...

Willy Mestach

Willy Mestach - Tribute

Collector
Belgium

The fame of Willy Mestach was already well established when I moved to Brus- sels fourteen years ago and suddenly found myself his neighbor on the Grand Sablon, just next door to this living legend and his remarkable collection. It didn’t take long to get acquainted and ultimately friendly with this endearing man, whom I will always picture sitting happily at his old oak dining table, surrounded by masterpieces of primitive art and books, as well as by his own artistic creations: intriguing oil compositions and sculptures blending con- structivist and abstract concepts with a touch of Belgian surrealist humor. Although Willy was an accomplished artist whose work is widely recog- nized, his main artistic achievement was probably as a collector. He was often tagged as having an “artists’ eye,” a statement that is all but insulting with re- gard to Willy. His large collection was amassed over more than half a century of passionate attention to detail and careful selection, and if he made the “mis- takes” that every collector makes, they were seldom visible...

Charles Meur

Charles Meur - Tribute

Artist
Belgium

If the art of the Pacific reaches more than 200 years later, from the time when Captain Cook was making his ocean voyages and giving such splendid accounts of them, it is thanks to the superb drawings produced by his ship’s artist, John Webber. Some of these engravings have become universal icons that first enabled us to see the art and inhabitants of that part of the world, before photography existed. More than thirty years ago, a series of richly illustrated maps of the cultural groups of the Congo appeared in Belgium, in atlases and books in which the drawing took precedence over the photographic image, renewing ties with the first expeditions’ traditions. Monographs on the weapons of Central Africa and numerous illustrations in dozens of books, exhibition catalogs, and on posters followed. ... The list is too long to enumerate. In the beginning was The Word, to be sure. And Charles Meur had it—he was articulate and cultivated, sardonic and ironic, and a masterful writer...