Thursday, February 27, 2014

L'Atlantique Noir de Nancy Cunard

Eighty years ago, on February 15, 1934, Englishwoman Nancy Cunard (1896-1965), a symbol of the Anglo-Saxon and French avant-garde of the early 20th century, published Negro Anthology. Lavishly illustrated, this 858-page book, resembling a major documentary enquiry, blended popular culture, sociology, politics, history, art history in the form of articles, archives, photographs, extracts from the press, musical scores, eye-witness accounts etc. Through the great themes examined in Negro Anthology, the Musee du Quai Branly will present the transnational artistic, literary and political networks constructed by Nancy Cunard in the years between 1910 and 1930, which have made this anthology a monument to black history.

View the exhibition's official website.

Portrait of Nancy Cunard  -  Man Ray, 1925

Image courtesy of the Centre Georges Pompidou/Musée du Quai Branly

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

African Masters at the Museum Rietberg

African Masters. Art from the Ivory Coast is a major exhibition now on view at the Museum Rietberg in Zürich through June 1. Spanning 200 years of art and featuring some 200 masterpieces by around forty sculptors, this show is the first to examine African artists of different generations from six major art regions of West Africa and the works attributed to them. It refutes the still widespread view that traditional African art was almost devoid of aesthetic principles and that Africa had no proper artists, only anonymous sculptors working in tribal workshops. Visitors to this ambitious exhibition will be able to discover the great masters of the Guro, Baule, Dan, Senufo, Lobi and Lagoon peoples and admire their most famous works – sculptures and masks of intense power and beauty.

View the exhibition's official website.

Images courtesy of the Museum Rietberg

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

1000 Ways of Seeing at Sotheby's

On March 5, Sotheby's London will present the collection of the late Stanley Seeger. Among the incredibly eclectic lots will be offered a group of tribal works, including a Kota reliquary and Maori hei tiki, pictured below.

View the online catalogue.

Images courtesy of Sotheby's

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bois sacré

On March 4, the Musée du Quai Branly will open Bois sacré - Initiation dans les forêts guinéennes (Sacred Wood. Initiation in the Guinean Forests). On the African continent, the initiation ceremony marks a mandatory rite of passage for each individual. Bois sacré examines in the secret societies that govern and carry out such ceremonies as they exist in the Guinean forests, in Liberia, Guinea, and Ivory Coast. The installation will be open through May 18, 2014.

Images courtesy of the Musée du Quai Branly

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Acquisitions at Jacaranda Tribal

Jacaranda Tribal presents a new online exhibition featuring a range of fine tribal objects from southern and central Africa and Papua New Guinea alongside a beautiful selection of antique photographs taken in Africa from the 1870s to the 1930s.

For more information on the selected works below and many more, visit

!Kweiten-ta //ken, a Bushwoman from Katkop Mountains, South Africa
Samuel Baylis Barnard  -  Albumen print  -  1870s
Portrait of a woman, Sudan  -  Khardiache Brothers  -  Albumen print  -  ca. 1890

Ladle with figural handle  -  Nguni, South Africa  -  Late 19th or early 20th century

Two Women from Massawa, Eritrea  -  Luigi Naretti  -  Gelatin silver print  -  ca. 1890

Maasai warriors and colonial officer, Zanzibar  -  Unidentified photographer  -  Albumen print  -  ca. 1890s

Mask  -  Eket, Nigeria  -  19th century

Man with pipe, South Africa  -  Unidentified photographer  -  ca 1880

Hat  -  Kuba, D.R. Congo

Couple seated on a wagon  -  Fred Hamm  -  Albumen print  -  1903

Incised cup  -  Abelam, Papua New Guinea  -  Early 20th century

A Tsonga snake dancer, Mozambique
Alfred Martin Duggan-Cronin  -  Silver gelatin print  -  1933

Prestige staff  -  Zulu, South Africa  -  Late 19th or early 20th century

Ndebele woman, South Africa  -  Unidentified photographer  -  ca 1930s

Headrest  -  Shona, Zimbabwe
Beja warriors, Sudan  -  C. & G. Zangaki  -  Albumen print  -  Last third of 19th century

Images courtesy of Jacaranda Tribal / ©2014 James Worrell

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Living Memories

Through March 30, 2014, the Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux is presenting Mémoires Vives. Une Histoire de l'Art Aborigène (Living Memories. A History of Aboriginal Art). It features 150 works by Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists, ranging from antique artifacts and bark paintings to acrylic canvases, photographs, videos, and installations, drawn from a variety of public and private collections. Together the objects build a discourse that questions the idea, so dear to art criticism, of the schism between tradition and modernity, which this exhibition seeks to present as inseparable creative forces.

View the exhibition's official website.

Image courtesy of the Musée d'Aquitaine

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kongo Across the Waters

Kongo across the Waters is a collaborative project by the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida and the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium. It explores connections between the art and culture of the Kongo peoples of western Central Africa and African American art and culture in the United States. The exhibition addresses cultural and artistic themes within Kongo culture, beginning with the ancient Kongo kingdom that encompassed parts of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Republic of the Congo and Gabon. Subjects include the arts of leadership, religion, and daily life interpreted within historical, archaeological, linguistic, musicological, anthropological and art historical contexts. On view through March 23, 2014.

Visit the exhibition's official website.

Images courtesy of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Africa Re-Viewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives at the National Museum of African Art, the museum is organizing a retrospective exhibition of internationally-renowned photographer Eliot Elisofon. The exhibition focus on Elisofon's innovative photography and its impact on portraying the diverse arts and cultures of modern-era Africa. The exhibition will be the first to pair his photographs with collected objects, films, books, and journals, and the first exhibition in forty years to celebrate his photographic legacy.

Visit the Smithsonian website.

Images courtesy of the National Museum of African Art