In conjunction with the December 1, 2010 auction of Isidor Kahane's six (6) African "Masterpieces," Christie's produced a short video highlighting him and these six beautiful, carefully -- and quietly -- gathered works. Some of the accompanying text descriptions also provide insightful historical background on the works as well as a narrative depicting the care and restraint that characterized the formation of this small collection, a narrative that also offers a slice of historical perspective on 20th century collecting of African art:
In addition to the simple, captivating Baule Anglo Ba
, Baga D'mba, Fang Eyema Byeri and two Kota Mbulu Ngulu
also an arresting N'duleri Dogon figure
*As background to the appreciation of Dogon art and culture, I recommend viewing Luc de Heusch's Sur les traces du renard pale
(Tracking the Pale Fox) -- which recounts the ethnographic work of Marcel Griaule, Jean Rouch and Germaine Dieterlen and which includes some of the footage compiled during Rouch's decades of life and filmwork among the Dogon. Constructed through his and Mme Dieterlen's relationships with Dogon communities and Rouch and Dieterlen's quest -- extended from that begun by Griaule -- to understand and appreciate the richness of Dogon cosmology and traditions, this film is an excellent starting point for exploring
the body of film created and knowledge gathered over several decades and amplifies the complexity and richness embedded within material traces of Dogon (and other African) traditions.