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African Masks: From the Barbier-Mueller Collection (Art Flexi Series) Paperback – May 25, 2010
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From Library Journal
These two books by the same publisher are very similar in a number of ways?they are designed to accompany major European exhibitions; contain hundreds of visually impressive photos of some of the finest works of African artistry; and cover the art of Africa while emphasizing the sculpture of West and Central Africa. These similarities aside, the books differ significantly in terms of the nature of the text and the focus of the content. Early in the 20th century a small number of European collectors acquired significant collections of African art. Han Coray (1880-1974), a modern art dealer in Zurich, was one of the earliest of those collectors, and his extensive collection eventually became the property of the Zurich University Ethnographic Museum. African Art is a catalog of that collection, with over 300 photographs of the objects. While most of the catalog entries provide useful information about the objects, some are unsatisfyingly only descriptive. More than a dozen essays are also provided, while some are scholarly and informative, many are personal reflections on and reactions to the collector and the collection, which some readers may not find especially enlightening. African Masks explores the nature of one of the most important categories of art in Africa. An excellent introductory essay by scholars Maria Kecskesi and Lazlo Vajda succinctly discusses the roles of masks in African societies and explains variations in their form and aesthetics. Almost 250 masks in the Barbier-Mueller Museum collection are cataloged with brief entries and small but fine black-and-white photos. The major portion of the book consists of large-format color plates of selected masks with extensive, scholarly notes by Hahner-Herzog. Many of the plates are accompanied by outstandingly useful field photos of the masks as worn by fully costumed performers in their indigenous context. Both books are highly recommended for any public or academic library with an interest in art, anthropology, and/or African studies.?Eugene C. Burt, Art Inst. of Seattle Lib.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I just received this book, but this ridiculous statement makes me question the legitimacy of any of the information presented here. African art is many millennia old and the types referenced in this book go back centuries despite the authors clear misinformation. The author clearly seeks to dodge the reality the origins of European art, specifically that of the renaissance era, borrowed extensively from African art. Luckily I bought this book for the art; I can ignore the typical misinformed commentary.
The prints are beautiful and the layout of the book seems very nice too. It's very versatile. It has a story to it since it isn't "just" pictures. It has a lot of text as well which is nice since so many books with prints are 1 print + 1 description per page which always leaves me with so many questions about what I'm looking at.
The recipient of this gift really loves it, so I would definitely recommend this.
**Needless to say, everyone has there own opinions and it might not be the most comprehensive or highest regarded text on African masks (maybe it is--I have no idea), but I like it and the recipient likes it and thats all I wanted.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are 246 illustrationsof masks, from the authors collection, covering 101...Read more
done and writing was comprehensive.