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The Scramble for Art in Central Africa

The Scramble for Art in Central Africa

$48.99 (P)

Enid Schildkrout, Curtis A. Keim, David A. Binkley, Patricia J. Darish, John Mack, Johannes Fabian, Christraud M. Geary, Mary Jo Arnoldi, Wyatt MacGaffey
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  • Date Published: March 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521586788

$ 48.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The contributors to this volume trace the life history of artifacts that were brought to Europe and America from Congo toward the end of the nineteenth century, and became the subjects of museum displays. They also present fascinating case studies of the pioneering collectors, including such major figures as Frobenius and Torday, discuss the complex and sensitive issues involved in the business of "collecting," and consider how these objects were used in the invention of Africa by the West.

    • A major contribution to the literature, inserting rich detail into the picture of what turn-of-the-century collecting was all about
    • Includes case studies of the work of pioneering collectors e.g. Frobenius, Torday
    • Reveals how western attitudes to Africa have been influenced by the art brought back for museum exhibits
    • Contributors include many well-known and highly regarded authors, figures in museum anthropology
    • Museum studies growing subfield of art history, anthropology
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "With an excellent introduction which creates a tight framework for what follows, the book adds up to an important contribution to our knowledge of early encounters between Africans and Westerners mediated through art. Each article enriches our knowledge of the subject and of the various subtexts--racial, colonial, economic--that underlay these encounters." Journal of Anthropological Research

    "A collection with unusual unity, thanks to articles that were carefully selected and edited." American Anthropologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521586788
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 29 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of contributors
    1. Objects and agendas: re-collecting the Congo Enid Schildkrout and Curtis A. Keim
    2. 'Enlightened but in darkness': interpretations of Kuba art and culture at the turn of the twentieth century David A. Binkley and Patricia J. Darish
    3. Kuba art and the birth of ethnography John Mack
    4. Curios and curiosity: notes on reading Torday and Frobenius Johannes Fabian
    Appendix: on the ethnography and economics of collecting, from Leo Frobenius' Nochmals zu den Bakubavölkern Johannes Fabian
    5. Artes Africanae: the western discovery of 'art' in northeastern Congo Curtis A. Keim
    6. Nineteenth-century images of the Mangbetu in explorers' accounts Christaud M. Geary
    7. Personal styles and disciplinary paradigms: Frederick Starr and Herbert Lang Enid Schildkrout
    8. Where art and ethnology met: the Ward African collection at the Smithsonian Mary Jo Arnoldi
    9. 'Magic, or as we usually say, art': a framework for comparing European and African art Wyatt MacGaffey

  • Editors

    Enid Schildkrout, Museum for African Art, New York

    Curtis A. Keim, Moravian College, Pennsylvania


    Enid Schildkrout, Curtis A. Keim, David A. Binkley, Patricia J. Darish, John Mack, Johannes Fabian, Christraud M. Geary, Mary Jo Arnoldi, Wyatt MacGaffey

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