A groundbreaking work, this is the first book to cover the arts of the entire continent of Africa, including Egypt, and to survey the art history, rather than the cultural traditions, of African peoples. The authors' unique synthesis of up-to-date research on African arts of many periods and geographic areas has resulted in a major contribution to the literature of art history.
Thousands of years of African art, from prehistory to the present, are considered, encompassing sculpture, painting, architecture, textiles, ceramics, and the myriad art forms of personal adornment and performance. Individual authors contribute chapters on their areas of expertise, yet hte whole volume works as a seamless text, weaving together everything from prehistoric Saharan rock art to contemporary sculpture, including the rich, multi-faceted art of the African diaspora. Brilliantly illustrated throughout, and including full indexes and bibliography, this volume is a milestone in the study and future perception of African art.
The study of African art history has reached another milestone with the publication of this book. For years, we have needed a survey textbook that would cover African art the way that Jansen et al. cover Western art. Treating the subject from an art historical rather than an anthropological perspective, this groundbreaking book is organized geographically to cover the entire continent. Each of the five regional sections focuses on selected major art traditions instead of attempting to cover every known art-producing culture. Though written by four respected African art scholars, the text obviously has been designed to be readable to the undergraduate student or interested general reader. Accompanying the text are over 700 photos and scores of maps, plans, drawings, etc. Some readers might quibble about the inclusion or exclusion of certain art forms, but overall this volume is a remarkable achievement that will richly reward anyone interested in the subject. Highly recommended.--Eugene C. Burt, Seattle Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.