Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies
Department of History of Art & Architecture and Department of African and African American Studies. Office: Sackler Museum, Harvard University, 485 Broadway Cambridge, MA 02138, email: blier at fas dot harvard dot edu Contact
How the "unique" look of African art captured the imagination of artists such as Picasso and Stieglitz is well known. But how do art aficionados today see African objects? And how does our view compare to the way in which these objects were seen in Africa? Presenting the William and Bertha Teel Collection for the first time, this book provides a chance to think about how our vision of such objects is shaped by the "ethnographic," "primitive," or "modern" labels that have been applied in the West, and to compare it to how those same works were viewed in their birthplace. Lavish, full-color illustrations of over 100 choice objects combine forces with essays by leading African art specialists Suzanne Preston Blier, Michael Kan, and Edmund B. Gaither, and object descriptions by the collector himself, to provide a thoughtful and visually stimulating examination of these important African forms--as well as of the dynamic relationship among their creators, their original cultural contexts, and the Western viewing public.