What is African art? : a short history (Book, 2022) [WorldCat.org]
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What is African art? : a short history
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What is African art? : a short history

Author: Peter Probst
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2022.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English
Summary:
"What do we have in mind when we talk about African art? This book examines the shifting answers to that question. Fluidly written, it is the first book to explore the full historical arc of the invention and development of the category of "African art" and the academic field of African art history. It is meant to be an accessible guide through the history of the field, showing us how it started and has changed from  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Peter Probst
ISBN: 9780226793016 022679301X 9780226793153 022679315X
OCLC Number: 1304257531
Description: pages ; cm
Contents: Introduction --
Forming a field: colonial collecting, racial omissions, and national rivalries --
Celebrating form: from primitive to primitivism --
Creating visibility and value: photography and its effects --
Discovering the African artist: tradition and tribality in the post-Cold War era --
Acknowledging the contemporary: new forms, new actors --
Extending the horizon: Africa in the Americas --
Intervening the canon: the postmodern, the popular, and the authentic --
Challenging representation: postcolonial critique and curation --
Undoing the empire: duress, defiance, and decolonial futures --
Epilogue.
Responsibility: Peter Probst.

Abstract:

"What do we have in mind when we talk about African art? This book examines the shifting answers to that question. Fluidly written, it is the first book to explore the full historical arc of the invention and development of the category of "African art" and the academic field of African art history. It is meant to be an accessible guide through the history of the field, showing us how it started and has changed from its contested beginnings until today. Peter Probst helps the reader understand how Africanists have continuously filled the notion of African art with new meanings and why these shifts manifest wider societal transformations. The book covers three key stages in the field's history, starting with the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth century. Here Probst focuses on museums, processes of collecting, photography's role in disseminating visual culture, and how early anthropologists and art historians-and artists-imbued collected objects with values that spoke to scientific debates about the evolution and diffusion of culture prominent at the time. Probst then explores the rise of Black Atlantic studies in the 1970s and 1980s, when African art history fell under the gaze of African American critique and saw an explosion of interest in contemporary African art. Finally, he examines the postcolonial reconfiguration of the field driven by questions of heritage, reparation, and the "crisis of representation." Probst believes that if the study of African art is to move in productive new directions, we must look to how the field is evolving in Africa for new models of inquiry"--

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