South of the Sahara: Selected Works of African Art

By Vogl, Mary B. | African Studies Review, April 2005 | Go to article overview

South of the Sahara: Selected Works of African Art


Vogl, Mary B., African Studies Review


Constantine Petridis. South of the Sahara: Selected Works of African Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2003. Distributed by the University of Washington Press. 128 pp. Illustrations. Map. Bibliography. $45.00. Cloth. $30.00. Paper.

This beautifully illustrated and scholarly work is a fitting celebration of the newly reinstalled African collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Constantine Petridis, its associate curator of African art and professor of art history at case Western Reserve University, analyzes forty-two works by artists of thirty different cultures. Petridis succeeds in integrating a vast body of scholarship on general concepts of African art with reflections on the cultural contexts of the specific works featured in the book.

Each work of art is reproduced in a full-page color plate, and most are accompanied by a small photograph of a similar object being worn or used in its African context. Notes include a description of the object, the ethnic group and geographical location of origin, the object's period, material (s) and size, the name of the donor, and the date the museum acquired the object. Several bibliographical references are given for further reading about each work. The collection's emphasis is on West and central Africa, the two regions that have produced the most important sculptural art traditions. While most of the objects are figurative sculptures and masks, there are also a few examples of beadwork. The zones represented are the Western Sudan, the Guinea Coast, Nigeria, the Cameroon Grassfields, and the Congo Basin.

In his introductory essay, "Faces and Figures of Sub-Saharan Africa," Petridis provides a brief overview of the history of African art in the Cleveland Museum, citing acquisitions and exhibits from as early as 1915. Significant curators and donors are also mentioned. The author then delineates several broad and controversial concepts that have had a major impact on the understanding of African art, including the geographical concept of "sub-Saharan" Africa and the role of sculpture in African society. The latter is connected to the labeling of African art as "craft" as opposed to "fine art." In the section on history, the author points to a general confusion and misunderstanding about the age of African art objects, offering as an example the "dating of objects based on their acquisition or collection history rather than on objective and scientifically supported dating techniques" (19). Another concept he discusses is style, which has been used to classify as well as to date works of African art. The challenge to art historians is that "the ethnic names given to sub-Saharan works of art merely refer to their style but do not necessarily offer a clue to their actual origin" (21). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

South of the Sahara: Selected Works of African Art
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.