A history of art in Africa

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Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2003 - Art - 544 pages
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Informed by the latest scholarship yet written for the general reader, this is the first comprehensive book to present the arts of Africa in art-historical terms. The authors treat individual pieces as tangible manifestations of changing beliefs and customs, as products of complex cultural interactions, as expressions of historical and economic realities, and as creations of gifted individuals, and in so doing brilliantly offer up African art on its own terms. Organized in five major parts, A History of Art in Africa covers every corner of the continent, including Egypt, from prehistory to the present day and includes the art of the African diaspora. The Islamic influence and the Christian arts of Ethiopia and Nubia are treated as fully African expressions, as are tourist arts and the fascinating hybrid art that periodically arose from interaction with Europe. All art forms are given equal consideration: from such familiar categories as sculpture to such quintessentially African forms as masquerades, festivals, and personal and domestic adornment. The arts of daily life, of royal ceremony, and of state cosmology also receive compelling discussions. And throughout, the authors emphasize the cultural contexts in which art is produced and imbued with meaning. Contemporary art forms are explored both as part of the living splendors of modern Africa and as ingenious responses to the experience of diaspora. The illustrations present a vast and rich range of images, including superb colorplates of artworks, archival and contemporary field photographs, explanatory drawings and plans, and individual objects displayed in museums and in use. Book jacket.

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A history of art in Africa

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The study of African art history has reached another milestone with the publication of this book. For years, we have needed a survey textbook that would cover African art the way that Jansen et al ... Read full review

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User Review  - Jennifer - Goodreads

Its amazing the things you never learn about Africa in your world history classes. Talk about poor education in America. This is an extremely stimulating and informative read. Of course I'm an art history student so I might be biased toward the subject. Read full review


From the Nile to the Niger
The Coming of Islam

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About the author (2003)

Visona is associate professor in the department of art at metropolitan State College.

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