Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

ivory staff

Expand Messages
  • mateusen1
    someone offers me this ivory staff, I think it s Yombe (RDC) what is your opinion ? Album entitled Yombe Ivory :
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 4, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      someone offers me this ivory staff, I think it's Yombe (RDC)
      what is your opinion ?

      Album entitled "Yombe Ivory":
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/7996609/pic/222198311/view?
    • Lee Rubinstein
      http://www.michaelstevenson.com/contemporary/exhibitions/colonial/item1.htm Gi: I can t see the figure closely enough to assess the origin or style of the
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 5, 2009
      • 0 Attachment

        Gi:

        I can't see the figure closely enough to assess the origin or style of the finial on the staff you have queried.  From what I can see... I usually expect Kongo ivories, including those attributed to the Yombe, to have more stylistic features that resemble figural portrayals in other media (wood, for instance) that come from the region.  What I can see of the face seems more resonant with other Congolese portrayals, most notably a touch of Songye...  So, I can't offer much specific insight but can offer instead a very interesting link that may provide general topical information that leads you toward specific comparative examples:

        For a fascinating consideration of colonial figures -- particularly focusing on Southern and Eastern African colonial figures but inclusive of colonial figures from other regions, see the link above to a 19th century ivory carving from the Loango Coast which is but one of many intriguing figures including in the 2003 exhibition, "Contact Zones:  Colonial and Contemporary" at Michael Stevenson Gallery" in Cape Town, South Africa.  The "Colonial" segment of the exhibition, "The Mlungu in Africa: art from the colonial period, 1840-1940" can be viewed here.  Also, don't overlook the accompanying essay which provides very interesting discussion of various points which are meaningful to the consideration of African works as both historical and collectible objects.   
        Here are some excerpted passages (of many!) that are particularly relevant:

        "Most of the pieces reproduced here originate from regions in which the British and Portuguese played out their imperialist ambitions. Their efforts in establishing colonies pre-dated those of France, Belgium, Italy and Germany. Consequently, Africans were more familiar with (and hostile to) Europeans in the British and Portuguese colonies than was the case elsewhere in Africa. These long-standing encounters repeatedly found expression in carvings, especially in regions that had pronounced traditions of figurative carving such as West Africa and Angola, but interestingly also in regions that did not have these traditions such as south-east Africa...8 

        "...there is often no clear-cut distinction between pieces made solely for indigenous consumption versus those produced for sale to outsiders. It is an issue of particular relevance to many pieces in the collection, and a theme that should be more readily discussed in relation to almost all African art which was collected during the colonial period (and subsequently). Sidney Kasfir, who is perhaps the most perceptive observer of so-called cross-cultural art from Africa,10 makes the important point that we should not over-simplify the 'ethnographic complexity of the encounter between artist and audience'. In her opinion, discussions about African art produced for sale to external markets seldom acknowledge the 'highly contingent and often somewhat blurred realities of cultural practice'.11 In the new economic order dictated by colonialism, the sale of objects to Europeans was one amongst the many adaptive strategies adopted by Africans to generate income. The complexity of this exchange, with its asymmetrical relationships and inequalities in class and race, especially during the colonial period when the social and economic order was in a state of flux, was (and is) often misunderstood. In addition, the dynamics of the trade between African communities themselves are not generally acknowledged.

        "These factors contribute to a prevailing assumption about the homogeneity and insularity of African societies in the minds of many Western collectors who believe that 'authentic' and 'traditional' African art was produced in a society that had not been in contact with Europeans. Such assumptions entwining the authenticity of African art with the isolation of communities have long since been debunked by historians on the grounds that - except for a few isolated communities such as the Easter Islanders and some Inuit/Eskimo and Amazon Indian groups - almost all societies in the new world have experienced some engagement with Europeans over the past few centuries...

        Kasfir is adamant that the construct of 'authentic' African art advocated by the art establishment is contradictory, and undermines any meaningful attempt to understand the objects. She makes the point that, ironically, what we could call canonical African art was, and is, only produced under conditions that ought to preclude the very act of collecting. One 'cannot escape the internal contradiction in the working definition of authenticity - namely that it excludes "contamination" while at the same time requiring it in the form of the collector'.14" 


        Meanwhile, I will keep an open eye for more directly comparative objects and also invite other group participants to share their impressions and/or any relevant ideas an examples.  

        Lee
        On Aug 4, 2009, at 5:09 AM, mateusen1 wrote:

        someone offers me this ivory staff, I think it's Yombe (RDC)
        what is your opinion ?

        Album entitled "Yombe Ivory":
        http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/7996609/ pic/222198311/ view?


      • Gi Mateusen
        Lee, I will thank you again for your answer. Again it wonders me that you find so much information and indeed the link is very interesting. I¹ll try to find
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 5, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Re: [African_Arts] ivory staff Lee,
          I will thank you again for your answer. Again it wonders me that you find so much information and indeed the link is very interesting.
          I’ll try to find out more information of the provenance.
          From the same collection I acquired a Pende staff and pende mask. I have posted some images in the album “Pende staff”
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/1324352430/pic/list?
          Thanks again.
          --
          Gi Mateusen
          mobile: +.32.(0)477.300679
          E-mail: mateusen@...




          Van: Lee Rubinstein <LeeRubinstein@...>
          Beantwoorden - Aan: <African_Arts@yahoogroups.com>
          Datum: Wed, 05 Aug 2009 10:34:00 -0400
          Aan: <African_Arts@yahoogroups.com>
          Onderwerp: Re: [African_Arts] ivory staff


          http://www.michaelstevenson.com/contemporary/exhibitions/colonial/item1.htm

          Gi:

          I can't see the figure closely enough to assess the origin or style of the finial on the staff you have queried.  From what I can see... I usually expect Kongo ivories, including those attributed to the Yombe, to have more stylistic features that resemble figural portrayals in other media (wood, for instance) that come from the region.  What I can see of the face seems more resonant with other Congolese portrayals, most notably a touch of Songye...  So, I can't offer much specific insight but can offer instead a very interesting link that may provide general topical information that leads you toward specific comparative examples:

          For a fascinating consideration of colonial figures -- particularly focusing on Southern and Eastern African colonial figures but inclusive of colonial figures from other regions, see the link above to a 19th century ivory carving from the Loango Coast which is but one of many intriguing figures including in the 2003 exhibition, "Contact Zones:  Colonial and Contemporary" at Michael Stevenson Gallery" in Cape Town, South Africa.  The "Colonial" segment of the exhibition, "The Mlungu in Africa: art from the colonial period, 1840-1940" can be viewed here <http://www.michaelstevenson.com/contemporary/exhibitions/colonial/colonial.htm> .  Also, don't overlook the accompanying essay which provides very interesting discussion of various points which are meaningful to the consideration of African works as both historical and collectible objects.   
          Here are some excerpted passages (of many!) that are particularly relevant:

          "Most of the pieces reproduced here originate from regions in which the British and Portuguese played out their imperialist ambitions. Their efforts in establishing colonies pre-dated those of France, Belgium, Italy and Germany. Consequently, Africans were more familiar with (and hostile to) Europeans in the British and Portuguese colonies than was the case elsewhere in Africa. These long-standing encounters repeatedly found expression in carvings, especially in regions that had pronounced traditions of figurative carving such as West Africa and Angola, but interestingly also in regions that did not have these traditions such as south-east Africa...8
          "...there is often no clear-cut distinction between pieces made solely for indigenous consumption versus those produced for sale to outsiders. It is an issue of particular relevance to many pieces in the collection, and a theme that should be more readily discussed in relation to almost all African art which was collected during the colonial period (and subsequently). Sidney Kasfir, who is perhaps the most perceptive observer of so-called cross-cultural art from Africa,10 makes the important point that we should not over-simplify the 'ethnographic complexity of the encounter between artist and audience'. In her opinion, discussions about African art produced for sale to external markets seldom acknowledge the 'highly contingent and often somewhat blurred realities of cultural practice'.11 In the new economic order dictated by colonialism, the sale of objects to Europeans was one amongst the many adaptive strategies adopted by Africans to generate income. The complexity of this exchange, with its asymmetrical relationships and inequalities in class and race, especially during the colonial period when the social and economic order was in a state of flux, was (and is) often misunderstood. In addition, the dynamics of the trade between African communities themselves are not generally acknowledged.

          "These factors contribute to a prevailing assumption about the homogeneity and insularity of African societies in the minds of many Western collectors who believe that 'authentic' and 'traditional' African art was produced in a society that had not been in contact with Europeans. Such assumptions entwining the authenticity of African art with the isolation of communities have long since been debunked by historians on the grounds that - except for a few isolated communities such as the Easter Islanders and some Inuit/Eskimo and Amazon Indian groups - almost all societies in the new world have experienced some engagement with Europeans over the past few centuries...

          Kasfir is adamant that the construct of 'authentic' African art advocated by the art establishment is contradictory, and undermines any meaningful attempt to understand the objects. She makes the point that, ironically, what we could call canonical African art was, and is, only produced under conditions that ought to preclude the very act of collecting. One 'cannot escape the internal contradiction in the working definition of authenticity - namely that it excludes "contamination" while at the same time requiring it in the form of the collector'.14"

          http://www.michaelstevenson.com/contemporary/books/mlungu.htm  

          Meanwhile, I will keep an open eye for more directly comparative objects and also invite other group participants to share their impressions and/or any relevant ideas an examples.  

          Lee
          On Aug 4, 2009, at 5:09 AM, mateusen1 wrote:

          someone offers me this ivory staff, I think it's Yombe (RDC)
          what is your opinion ?

          Album entitled "Yombe Ivory":
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/African_Arts/photos/album/7996609/pic/222198311/view?


        • Florent Morio
          Gi, The Pende mask (eastern pende) is a sorcerer mask also known as kidombolo. Do you have more pics of this mask ? All the best Florent  
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 6, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Gi,
             
            The Pende mask (eastern pende) is a sorcerer mask also known as kidombolo. Do you have more pics of this mask ?
             
            All the best
             
            Florent
             

             


            De : Gi Mateusen <mateusen@...>
            À : African_Arts@yahoogroups.com
            Envoyé le : Mercredi, 5 Août 2009, 23h03mn 55s
            Objet : Re: [African_Arts] ivory staff

             

            Lee,
            I will thank you again for your answer. Again it wonders me that you find so much information and indeed the link is very interesting.
            I’ll try to find out more information of the provenance.
            From the same collection I acquired a Pende staff and pende mask. I have posted some images in the album “Pende staff”
            http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/1324352430 /pic/list?
            Thanks again.
            --
            Gi Mateusen
            mobile: +.32.(0)477. 300679
            E-mail: mateusen@skynet. be




            Van: Lee Rubinstein <LeeRubinstein@ mac.com>
            Beantwoorden - Aan: <African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com>
            Datum: Wed, 05 Aug 2009 10:34:00 -0400
            Aan: <African_Arts@ yahoogroups. com>
            Onderwerp: Re: [African_Arts] ivory staff


            http://www.michaels tevenson. com/contemporary /exhibitions/ colonial/ item1.htm

            Gi:

            I can't see the figure closely enough to assess the origin or style of the finial on the staff you have queried.  From what I can see... I usually expect Kongo ivories, including those attributed to the Yombe, to have more stylistic features that resemble figural portrayals in other media (wood, for instance) that come from the region.  What I can see of the face seems more resonant with other Congolese portrayals, most notably a touch of Songye...  So, I can't offer much specific insight but can offer instead a very interesting link that may provide general topical information that leads you toward specific comparative examples:

            For a fascinating consideration of colonial figures -- particularly focusing on Southern and Eastern African colonial figures but inclusive of colonial figures from other regions, see the link above to a 19th century ivory carving from the Loango Coast which is but one of many intriguing figures including in the 2003 exhibition, "Contact Zones:  Colonial and Contemporary" at Michael Stevenson Gallery" in Cape Town, South Africa.  The "Colonial" segment of the exhibition, "The Mlungu in Africa: art from the colonial period, 1840-1940" can be viewed here <http://www.michaels tevenson. com/contemporary /exhibitions/ colonial/ colonial. htm> .  Also, don't overlook the accompanying essay which provides very interesting discussion of various points which are meaningful to the consideration of African works as both historical and collectible objects.   
            Here are some excerpted passages (of many!) that are particularly relevant:

            "Most of the pieces reproduced here originate from regions in which the British and Portuguese played out their imperialist ambitions. Their efforts in establishing colonies pre-dated those of France, Belgium, Italy and Germany. Consequently, Africans were more familiar with (and hostile to) Europeans in the British and Portuguese colonies than was the case elsewhere in Africa. These long-standing encounters repeatedly found expression in carvings, especially in regions that had pronounced traditions of figurative carving such as West Africa and Angola, but interestingly also in regions that did not have these traditions such as south-east Africa...8
            "...there is often no clear-cut distinction between pieces made solely for indigenous consumption versus those produced for sale to outsiders. It is an issue of particular relevance to many pieces in the collection, and a theme that should be more readily discussed in relation to almost all African art which was collected during the colonial period (and subsequently) . Sidney Kasfir, who is perhaps the most perceptive observer of so-called cross-cultural art from Africa,10 makes the important point that we should not over-simplify the 'ethnographic complexity of the encounter between artist and audience'. In her opinion, discussions about African art produced for sale to external markets seldom acknowledge the 'highly contingent and often somewhat blurred realities of cultural practice'.11 In the new economic order dictated by colonialism, the sale of objects to Europeans was one amongst the many adaptive strategies adopted by Africans to generate income. The complexity of this exchange, with its asymmetrical relationships and inequalities in class and race, especially during the colonial period when the social and economic order was in a state of flux, was (and is) often misunderstood. In addition, the dynamics of the trade between African communities themselves are not generally acknowledged.

            "These factors contribute to a prevailing assumption about the homogeneity and insularity of African societies in the minds of many Western collectors who believe that 'authentic' and 'traditional' African art was produced in a society that had not been in contact with Europeans. Such assumptions entwining the authenticity of African art with the isolation of communities have long since been debunked by historians on the grounds that - except for a few isolated communities such as the Easter Islanders and some Inuit/Eskimo and Amazon Indian groups - almost all societies in the new world have experienced some engagement with Europeans over the past few centuries...

            Kasfir is adamant that the construct of 'authentic' African art advocated by the art establishment is contradictory, and undermines any meaningful attempt to understand the objects. She makes the point that, ironically, what we could call canonical African art was, and is, only produced under conditions that ought to preclude the very act of collecting. One 'cannot escape the internal contradiction in the working definition of authenticity - namely that it excludes "contamination" while at the same time requiring it in the form of the collector'.14"

            http://www.michaels tevenson. com/contemporary /books/mlungu. htm  

            Meanwhile, I will keep an open eye for more directly comparative objects and also invite other group participants to share their impressions and/or any relevant ideas an examples.  

            Lee
            On Aug 4, 2009, at 5:09 AM, mateusen1 wrote:

            someone offers me this ivory staff, I think it's Yombe (RDC)
            what is your opinion ?

            Album entitled "Yombe Ivory":
            http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ album/7996609/ pic/222198311/ view?



          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.