ALL ART PIECES ARE FEATURED AT TWIGA GALLERY SAN FRANCISCO
- TWIGA GALLERY FEATURED ART PIECES: ROYAL STOOLS FROM THE LUBA TRIBE -
(PRICE UPON REQUEST)
(CLICK IMAGES TO SEE LARGER VIEWS)
(CLICK IMAGES TO SEE LARGER VIEWS)
These Royal Stools from Luba will be exhibited at Twiga Gallery. A stool similar to these was sold
at Sotheby's Oceanic and African Art Auction last November in Paris for 5,44,0750 EUR.
BACKGROUND ON THE ROYAL STOOL FROM LUBA:
From as early as the seventeenth century, the Luba people had established a powerful
empire in the southeast of what is today the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Through marriage, women had played an important role in the expansion of this empire
and the creation of alliances within it. Although kingship among the Luba was believed
to be a divinely sanctioned privilege granted only to men, lineage and succession were
traced through the female population.
As the bearers of kings, women held a special place of honor in Luba society. In the words
of an old proverb, “Only the body of a woman is strong enough to hold a spirit as powerful
as that of a king.” Given the divine nature attached to Luba sovereignty, the bodies of
women were considered an especially appropriate form for emblems of rule and appear
frequently in the iconography of royal ceremonial objects, including staffs, bows, headrests,
and stools like the one pictured here.
As in many African cultures, among the Luba, the stool was reserved for the most powerful
individuals in a community. Only a king or chief would have owned a stool like this one.
Such objects did not always serve a practical function as seating, but were deeply invested
with symbolic significance. In fact, the Luba held that all stools were modeled on a prototype
possessed by their legendary first ruler Mbidi Kiluwe. Thus, stools came to feature prominently
in investiture ceremonies, providing a tangible link between the new king and the great Luba
culture hero. (www.learner.org)
"AFRICA: THE ART OF A CONTINENT"
by Tom Phillips & Royal Academy of Arts (Great Britain)
This magnificent celebration of the world’s oldest and most diverse artistic traditions is
considered the definitive book on African art.
Ranging from the oldest known human artifact, circa 1.6 million BC, to pieces made within
living memory, the objects collected in this extraordinary volume reflect a continent of
enormous cultural and historical scope. Arranged chronologically within seven geographical
sections, it offers an astonishing array of sculptures in wood, bronze, stone, and gold, as well
as mural paintings, ceremonial pieces, ceramics, jewelry, and textiles culled from private and
public collections around the world. Commentary by renowned scholars illuminates the cultural
and historical significance of these pieces, and in-depth authoritative texts highlight critical
aspects of each region. Together these words and images take readers on an artistic grand
tour through a continent of unparalleled diversity, and towards the thrilling discovery of not
one Africa, but many. (www.amazon.com)
"BLACK AFRICA: MASKS SCULPTURE JEWELRY"
by Laure Meyer
Masks, pottery, bronze, ivory, gold, statues of ancestors, reliquaries, and jewelry all express
the influence of myths on the daily life and inventive genius of more than 60 ethnic groups.
This book covers each subject in turn, is magnificently illustrated in color, and examines the
entire range of black African art from aesthetic and ethnological points of view. (www.amazon.com)
"SONGYE: THE IMPRESSIVE STATUARY OF CENTRAL AFRICA"
by Francois Neyt
This unique collection of rarely seen tribal art brings together nearly one thousand examples
of powerful artifacts from the Songye tribe of Central Africa.
A tribal people located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Songye are best known for
their distinctive statuaries and masks, which for centuries have been used to protect villages,
ward off enemies, and bring fertility and wealth. Approximately one thousand of these pieces
are shown in this vibrant collection. The Songye often named their statues and decorated them
with horns, skins, beads, tacks, shells, and bits of cloth. As a result, each item displays a
singular, impressive identity. Considered to be imbued with magical energy and used only by
village shamans, these statues have enormous cultural and historical significance, and they are
also powerful works of art in their own right. (www.amazon.com)
"ART OF THE SENSES"
by Suzanne Preston Blier, Edmund Gaither, Michael Khan
How the "unique" look of African art captured the imagination of artists such as Picasso and
Stieglitz is well known. But how do art aficionados today see African objects? And how does
our view compare to the way in which these objects were seen in Africa? Presenting the William
and Bertha Teel Collection for the first time, this book provides a chance to think about how
our vision of such objects is shaped by the "ethnographic," "primitive," or "modern" labels that
have been applied in the West, and to compare it to how those same works were viewed in their
birthplace. Lavish, full-color illustrations of over 100 choice objects combine forces with essays
by leading African art specialists Suzanne Preston Blier, Michael Kan, and Edmund B. Gaither,
and object descriptions by the collector himself, to provide a thoughtful and visually stimulating
examination of these important African forms--as well as of the dynamic relationship among
their creators, their original cultural contexts, and the Western viewing public. (www.amazon.com)
"ART AND POWER: IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN SAVANNA"
by Constantine Petridis
Revealing the powers immanent in works that the West long regarded only as exotic or abstract,
Constantine Petridis looks beneath the surface of the arts of the Luba, Songye, Chokwe and Luluwa
peoples to find, literally embedded in sculpture, the forces that enable the spirit world to intervene
in daily life. Ritual use of these objects is expected to ensure a healthy birth, successful hunt, or
triumph over an enemy. Analysis of the scholarly record illuminates the changing visions of
leadership and prestige that fostered the development of the majestic, elaborate figure styles
long prized in the West. (www.africabookcentre.com)
"MASTERPIECES FROM CENTRAL AFRICA: THE TERVUREN MUSEUM"
by Musee Royal De L'Afrique Centrale
Published to coincide with a major exhibition across North America and Europe, this book
describes and illustrates 125 of the finest objects in the Tervuren Museum collection. The objects
come from a number of countries including Zaire and Angola, and very few have been exhibited
before. The museum was founded in 1897 by King Leopold II of Belgium as a "window on Central
Africa" for the Belgian people. An exhibition to commemorate its centenary is being staged from
1996 to 1998 in Ottawa, Washington DC, San Francisco, Chicago, and many other venues across
North America and Europe. (www.amazon.com)
"SPIRITS SPEAK: A CELEBRATION OF AFRICAN MASKS"
by Peter Stepan
Images of outstanding African masks from the world’s leading museums and private collections
reveal the splendor and majesty of these fascinating masterpieces.The masks seen in these pages
represent diversity and an aesthetic power that rivals the most renowned works of art from around
the world. Originating from more than thirty countries throughout Africa, the masks featured here
are shown in stunning full-page reproductions and accompanied by field photographs. Each mask
reflects a strong personal and artistic vision, and embodies ancestors and beings from the spirit
world. The selected masks can be identified by magic expression, noble proportions, and delicate
surface detail. Enlightening commentary offers background information about the function and
origins of the masks’ use within the ethnic groups from which they originate. A beautifully produced
full-color foldout map places each mask in its original site, which together with the stunning
reproductions, field photographs, and text, creates a magnificent celebration of African artistry and
"FANG: VISIONS OF AFRICA"
by Louis Perrois
Fang art is one of the most distinguished arts of Black Africa. Its masks, with their facial markings,
abstract features and strong, elegant lines, were among the most influential in 20th century modern
art. Fang figures, called Bieri, are renowned for their child-like proportions contrasted with a
muscular, poised vigilance. Fang art also includes iron currency and other objects that exhibit the
traditional African ability to making everyday functional objects things of artistic merit. Fang reviews
these artifacts and their social, ritual or symbolic characters. Statuettes related to ancestors, dance
masks of the various rites, insignia of power, headdresses and jewellery, decorated music instruments
and everyday utensils, all have an amazingly varied aesthetic creativity, in harmony with their profuse
world of beliefs and myths. (www.amazon.com)
"KUBA: VISIONS OF AFRICA"
by David A. Binkley & Patricia Darish
The latest volume in the Visions of Africa series explores the intriguing sculpture and decorative
art of the Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Best known for their king figures
(ndop), considered among the greatest sculptural achievements of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Kuba
actually produced little freestanding sculpture. Instead, they focused on a variety of decorative
works that indicated success and achievement, and initiation-related pieces such as masks. The
first book on this subject, Kuba examines the tribe's artistic development, from the 17th century
through the turbulent colonial and post-colonial periods. The authors also explore the impact of
Kuba belief on their art and discuss the pervasive concerns that inform the tribe's art-making.
With fifty beautifully reproduced examples and an engaging, informative text, Kuba is a
fascinating introduction to African art. (www.amazon.com)
"THE POWER OF FORM"
by Ezio Bassani
Many elements converge in the construction of a high-quality art collection, making it a
fascinating, intellectual and emotional adventure, a journey of discovery and a labour of love.
Formed over the course of thirty years by Udo Horstmann and his wife, the Horstmann
collection is rather exceptional inasmuch as it offers a captivating vision of the variety of
solutions adopted by black artists over the course of the centuries: nearly 120 extraordinary
sculptures, figures, masks, household objects and weapons from Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Burkina
Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Angola, Zambia,
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, Kenya and Sudan.
The origin of the artworks-- selected for their perfection transcending the mere utilitarian
function-- touches all of the lands of the continent, including the southern and eastern lands
rarely so authoritatively represented in other collections, and their execution covers an arc of
time of several millennia.
The presence of ancient works contributes to the demolition of the preconception that has
weighed unfairly until recent years on African art, and that is the absence of evolution in the
artistic creation of Black Africa, and therefore of any historic quality. This is a difficult negation
to cancel if African sculpture is still often labeled as "primitive."
Another meritorious quality of the Horstmanns lies in the fact that they chose the sculptures in
their collection, not out of any generic passion for the exotic and neither for any abstract
demand for representativity of ethnicity or significance or destination, but for their quality, for
the enchantment of the "form," or better, of the "forms."
Paging through the book, the reader will discover that the artistic creation, that is, the need to
give "form" to the formless, is a common heritage of mankind, shared by the artists of Black
"PRIMITIVIISM: IN 20TH CENTURY ART"
by William Rubin
In 1906 tribal sculpture was "discovered" by 20th century artists; these objects had suddenly
become relevant because of changes in the nature of modern art itself. These two volumes
comprise the first comprehensive scholarly treatment in half a century of the crucial influence
of the tribal arts--particularly those of Africa and Oceania--on modern painters and sculptors.
In this visually stunning and intellectually provocative work, 19 essays confront complex
aesthetic, art-historical, and sociological problems posed by this dramatic chapter in the
history of modern art. The main body of the book contains a series of essays on primitivism in
the works of Gauguin, the Fauves, Picasso, Brancusi, the German Expressionists, Lipchitz,
Modigliani, Klee, Giacometti, Moore, the Surrealists, and the Abstract Expressionists. It concludes
with a discussion of primitivist contemporary artists, including those involved in earthworks,
shamanism, and ritual-inspired performances. (www.amazon.com)
"CHOKWE: VISIONS OF AFRICA"
by Boris Wastiau
This introduction to the visual art of one of the most renowned peoples of Angola and the
Democratic Republic of Congo deals exclusively with sculpture. After providing a brief history
of the Chokwe, the different chapters examine the figurines used in the ritual of divination,
the statuary connected with the humba possession cults, antique (eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries) classical statuary referred to as of the native land, court items, privileges of the warrior
aristocracy, and wooden masks linked to the chieftianship and the initiation rites of circumcision.
Particular attention is devoted to the precious effigies of Chibinda Ilunga, the civilising hero of
the myths of the origins, almost all the exemplars of which were brought to Europe in the
nineteenth century, as well as to chairs, whose symbolism and function are revelatory both of
the religion and the hierarchical structure of the chieftianship. (www.amazon.com)
by Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute
Han Coray (1880-1974) was one of the first and most important European collectors of
African art. He acquired his collection for the most part from the famous Parisian art dealer
Paul Guillaume in the first half of the 1920's. This extensive collection of African art, one of
the finest in the world, was purchased by Zurich University's Volkerkundemuseum in 1940.
"African Art from the Han Coray Collection 1916-1928" contains a selection of 202 of the
collection's most important works, accompanied by informative texts. Featured are not only
wooden sculptures and masks, but also ivories, textiles, and metal works. West and central
African artistic traditions are presented, with a special focus on central African art.
"FACING THE MASK"
by Frank Herreman
Facing the Mask uses the mask, a central element for many African societies, as a marvelous
point of entry into Africa, its arts, its diverse cultures, and its richly varied traditions.
Masking is one of the most important social and religious ritual activities of many African
people. In southern Algeria, the rock paintings of Tassili-n’Ajjer, 4000-700 B.C, show that
masks were already used thousands of years ago. Today, numerous African people continue to
employ masks as did their ancestors. Some African mask traditions are still performed in their
original, traditional ways. Others have been adapted to respond to changing needs, and new
masks are created to cope with changes in the contemporary world. The masks represented in
this publication are only a small sample of the hundreds of different types that can be found in
Africa. We hope that this small selection will help to demonstrate the importance of masks as
ritual objects and works of art. Exhibition catalogue by Frank Herreman with an essay, Behold
the Mask: A Yoruba Scholar's Experience by Babatunde Lawal. (www.africanart.org)
"THE TRIBAL ARTS OF AFRICA"
by Jean-Baptiste Bacquart
The marvelous achievements of black African artists over thousands of years are revealed
and superbly portrayed in this book. The earliest pieces date from the beginning of the first
millennium, the most recent from the early twentieth century before the commercial
production of art for the tourist trade. All were made by Africans for their own use. Jean-
Baptiste Bacquart has divided Africa south of the Sahara into forty-nine cultural areas. Each
section studies the most important tribe within that area, surveying its social and political
structures as well as its artistic production. The art is analyzed according to type—in most
instances masks, statues, and everyday objects such as utensils, furniture, and jewelry.
When appropriate, further information on artistically related tribes is provided. Each section
contains lavishly presented color photographs of all the major object types, documentary
black-and-white illustrations, and its own bibliography.
A detailed reference section with information on key collections open to the public and a
glossary completes this invaluable publication, the only one to present the entire range of
black African art in accessible form. 865 illustrations and photographs, 195 in color.
"A HISTORY OF ART IN AFRICA"
by Monica Blackmun Vicona, Robin Poynor, Herbert M.Cole,
Michael D. Harris, Rowland Abiodun, Suzanne Preston Blier
This innovative and comprehensive book approaches African Art from a historical perspective
rather than an anthropological perspective. A History of Art in Africa shows how African Art
has developed from beliefs, traditions, cultural and historical influences. It challenges current
perceptions of African Art and presents it as intellectual and intentional in it's own right,
rather than as intuitive or “primal” impulses, as it has been previously perceived. The book
also covers the entire continent of Africa, including Egypt, and incorporates the creative
influences of Islamic and Christian religious artistic traditions as well. A discussion of
contemporary Africa Art includes the works of the Diaspora. Five part organization of the
book's content allows the user to select which geographical area of the continent to explore
first. Useful to anyone interested in African Art or art history. (www.amazon.com)
by Iris Hahner, Maria Kecskesi, Lazlo Vajda
The book includes one hundred color plates accompanied by in-depth descriptions, as well
as numerous black-and-white photographs of the masks as they are used in religious and
secular ceremonies. An introductory text by renowned scholars describes how the masks are
constructed, examines their significance in African culture, and offers insight into the
universal practice of masquerading. A unique contribution to the literature on African art, this
book is also a wonderful introduction to countless fascinating, age-old spiritual traditions still
practiced today. (www.amazon.com)
"PENDE: VISIONS OF AFRICA"
by Z.S. Strother
Although many societies in the Congo were once renowned for their vibrant carved masks
and architectural sculptures, these phenomena have only been studied as living traditions
among a handful of peoples, most notably the Pende. Lavish illustrations evoke the full range
of Pende expression and offers a unique window into both masquerade and architecture in
Central Africa. Part of the Visions of Africa series. (www.amazon.com)
"LUBA: VISIONS OF AFRICA"
by Mary Roberts & Allen F. Roberts
This lavishly illustrated book features outstanding works of Luba art from the Democratic
Republic of Congo. Major themes include the role of visual and performance arts in Luba
traditional politics, the symbolism of the female image, and how Luba history is passed on
through art. Part of the Visions in Africa series. (www.amazon.com)
by Warren Robbins
A comprehensive introduction to the vast range of tribal sculpture from Africa is presented
in this photographic survey. Ashanti fertility dolls, Bambara dance headpieces, Bachokwe
staff heads, and Bakuba boxes are included in 347 works from Senegal to the Congo regions,
Mali to Sierra Leone. This book provides a tremendous opportunity for Africans and non-
Africans alike to view the diversity, expressive quality, and sheer evocative power of African
art, and to gain a better understanding of one of the great heritages of mankind. Warren
Robbins presents the pieces from the perspective of two civilizations -- Africa and the West.
Believing that the works are classical rather than primitive art, his sensitive analysis of the
stylistic refinements of the various tribes past and present emphasizes the importance of
preserving this art for posterity. The text and captions are presented in both English and
"SELECTED WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION
OF THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN ART"
by National Museum of African Art
The National Museum of African Art began as a private educational institution in 1964 and
became part of the Smithsonian Institution in 1979. This volume includes highlights from the
museum's holdings of traditional African art from throughout the continent, although the
majority of works originated in sub-Saharan Africa. The 150 objects presented include sculpted
masks and figures, regalia, items of personal adornment, textiles, furniture, and household
objects. Each entry provides a discussion about the object's meaning and use and includes
provenance and publication history. Fully illustrated in color, the handbook also includes maps,
an extensive bibliography, and an introduction by Roy Sieber, America's foremost authority on
traditional African art. (www.amazon.com)
"A SHORT HISTORY OF AFRICAN ART"
by Werner Gillon
An history of the visual arts of Africa - sculpture, painting and architecture; textiles,
pottery and other household objects; jewellery, ceremonial and religious dress and body art.
The author examines the major influences on African culture and art over the centuries: the
civilizations of Egypt and the Mediterranean coast, the spread of Islam, the Bantu migrations,
the evolution of the tribal system, the arrival of the Europeans and Christianity and the
development of trade within Africa and beyond. He then examines the earliest known art forms,
the preshitoric rock art found in a number of regions and the artefacts of the ancient Nubian,
Aksumite and Nok cultures, and goes on to consider the development of the visual arts in a
number of individual regions ranging from the Sahara to the Cape, from Ethiopia and the
Swahili coast in the east to the Niger Delta and Benin in the west. (www.amazon.com)
"AFRICAN MASTERPIECE FROM THE MUSEE DE L'HOMME"
by Susan Millan Vogel & Francie N'Diaye
African Masterpieces from the Musée de l’Homme presents a selection of masterpieces from
the vast ethnographic collection of France’s preeminent ethnographic museum. After
considerations of scholarship and connoisseurship, the final choices were based on subjective
response to a work—its particular beauty and eloquence, its indefinable emotional power, or
perhaps its fame—not on an attempt to represent a broad geographic range since inevitably
the strengths in the collection were weighted in favor of former French territories and colonies.
In their search through the museum’s files, the authors encountered a subversive love of
beautiful objects, a search for aesthetically pleasing works by members of anthropological
expeditions. The works fall into three groups—those earliest pieces collected by explorers,
adventurers, and military men before about 1906; those brought back by scientific
expeditions; and those composed of gifts to the museum from art collectors.
"AFRICAN ART: IN AMERICAN COLLECTIONS"
by Warren M. Robbins & Nancy Ingram Nooter
African art -- with its powerful forms, complex symbolism, and formal inventiveness -- has
only recently come to be recognized as one of the great artistic traditions of mankind. This
rich tradition is showcased here in a remarkable selection of outstanding works. Nearly 1,600
objects are illustrated, each accompanied by scholarly information on style, usage, meaning,
and cultural origin. Featured individually by section are the styles of Western Sudan, the West
African Coastal Region, West Central Africa, Central Africa, and Eastern and Southern Africa.
A thought-provoking introduction helps readers understand the significance of African art as
a form of human creative expression, its relationships to contemporary Western art, and the
controversies surrounding it in the world's museums. Newcomers to the field as well as
professionals will find many questions answered in the text and captions. This comprehensive
survey of some 230 styles of African art is an essential reference for scholars, teachers,
students, curators, collectors, and dealers. (www.amazon.com)
- AFRICAN TRIBAL ART: LINKS -
AFRICAN TRIBAL ART: www.zyama.com
A collection of African tribal art featuring over 1,200 artifacts from 100 ethnic
groups. Items on display include wooden and bronze statues, masks, religious,
ritual and domestic objects, furniture and weapons. Learn about art, culture,
and history of each ethnic group.
AUTHENTIC AFRICA: www.authenticafrica.com
Specializing in tribal art from Angola to Zaire, stools, masks, statues, jewelry,
and animal skins.
GALLERY EZAKWANTU: www.ezakwantu.com
Masks, weapons, pottery, sculpture, beadwork, headrests, shields, combs, dolls,
spoons, art books, antiques, and African information.
TRIBAL ART MAGAZINE: www.tribalartmagazine.com
Quarterly journal of the art, culture, and history of traditional peoples and old
world civilizations from Africa, Oceania, Asia and the Americas.
COLLECTING AFRICAN TRIBAL ART: www.howardnowes.com
An article from the Howard Nowes Ancient Art website on collecting African Tribal
Art. Article Preview: "There is no question that traditional African art is beautiful to
behold, highly prized, and valuable in today's society. But why? How? African art
raises so many questions because its forms and compositions are so very different
from those of western society; it simply takes time to get used to and understand
them. African art is..."
TRIBAL ART AFRICA: www.tribalartafrica.com
The essence of the people of Africa has been captured by their masks and statues.
Tribal Art Africa offers only the finest original works to museums and discriminating
private collectors. Explore our site to sample our collection of one-of-a-kind pieces.
TRADITIONAL AFRICAN ART: www.africaclub.com
Exhibit and sales of tribal arts and crafts mainly from sub-Sahara western Africa.
ANTIQUE AFRICAN ART ALAIN NAOUM CONSULTANT: www.users.skynet.be/african
A website consecrated to ancient African art that can help you in buying or selling old
African art objects, we are specialize in objects from central Africa ,classical objects
from the Congo kingdom. Antique African Art Alain Naoum Consultant can help you to
complete your collection or to start a good level collection.
AFRICAN TRIBAL ART: www.african-tribal-art.net
The importance of African Masks. Website Preview: "African Tribal Art has a significant
and mystical history. A very important part of the history includes the traditional African
masks. The African masks...
CULTURE KIOSQUE - ART & ARCHEOLOGY EXHIBITIONS: www.culturekiosque.com
Virtual gallery of African Art - African Masks: Magical Faces of Africa. Since 1996,
Culturekiosque's editorial mission has been to bring you unique coverage of the arts and
culture worldwide with European sophistication and flair.
RAND AFRICAN ART: www.randafricanart.com
Discover African Art will be dedicated to entry/medium level African art and Oceanic
art while RAND Tribal will carry a higher quality level of authentic Tribal art objects
that will not be limited to only African art.