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New Guinea Art: Masterpieces of the Jolika Collection Slp Edition

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-8874392292
ISBN-10: 887439229X
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 790 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Continents; Slp edition (December 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 887439229X
  • ISBN-13: 978-8874392292
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 9.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,227,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
... is the Jolika Collection of the art of New Guinea in the new De Young Museum, though one could argue in favor of the circus cabaret at Teatro Zinzanni. SF is finally maturing as a museum city, with a world-class collection at the Museum of Modern Art, the most important Asian art collection in the USA in its own museum, a spanky new Jewish Museum, and other unique exhibitions. The Jolika collection was assembled by Marsha and John Friede; you'll find info about them in a previous amazon review.

The art on display includes shields and masks, architectural scultures, decorated weapons, textiles, and bizarre objects of practical use that have more beauty in their making than one can explain by any theory of utility. Most of the materials are wood, shell, and plant fibers, though the display includes a case of pre-historic stone sculptures. Items range circa 1500 to 1920 c.e. The lighting is excellent, the labels are visible and up-to-date, and the whole museum is graceful in its lay-out. I seldom look at more than one gallery in a local museum on any one visit, but if you're coming from afar, you'll also find very focused and well-selected collections of African art and Middle-American art in the DeYoung.

This is a massive tome, this book, or rather two massive tomes in a sturdy box. It's as much as a small person could carry to the corner store. The larger Volume 1 contains full color, full page photographs of every piece in the collection. Volume 2 contains three scholarly essays on the craft, the anthropological significance, and the provenance of the pieces. If you love this art, at $195 used, it's still a worthwhile acquisition.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary combination of large closeup photos of 598 artifacts and descriptions of their origins (time/place) and significance in the varied cultures of New Guinea island in the South Pacific. The photos are extremely sharp -- you can almost smell the objects, which date from prehistoric to 20th century. I lived in Papua New Guinea for 15 years but thought I didn't have time for all of this information right now. I couldn't put the books down. Generally, the objects are presented from province to province in Papua New Guinea (eastern half of the island) and in West Papua (province of Indonesia). A separate map helps you find the various source places.
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Format: Hardcover
I really dislike cliches, but they are often appropriate. Truly, this is one of the two or three books to buy on the subject of New Guinea art, to grab, if you treasure this topic and need to select a few titles when the proverbial house is burning.

I have know the Friede's since 1971, and I am also a dealer of Oceanic art and I have sold art to them, so I can be accused immediately of writing about a friend's publication and in a field that we both do business in. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to support a work that has been seriously developed over many years and has come to fruition in this publication, along with an extensive exhibition of this art at the new museum building at the De Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The Friede's have never asked me nor suggested that I write a review.

It is important for the readers of this publication to try to see the art physically on display, as photographs are still two dimensional and this art is particularly three dimensional. The box set of this collection is comprehensive and should give the reader a better understanding of what New Guinea art is about and the tremendous range of styles that exist in such close roximity. It is supported by fine photographs of some of the most important New Guinea art ever collected, certainly the most important body of work formed in a private collection at present. The Jolika collection does emphasize the Friede's own personal taste as well as define what New Guinea art is. It can be said that in most cases they collected what appears to be the most archaic forms of New Guinea art as well as some of the more important iconographic forms.
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