By J. Vansina
This can be a pioneering creation to a subject matter that continues to be at an early srage of educational improvement. It goals to supply the reader with a scientific approach for the historic figuring out of African artwork. Professor Vansina considers the medium, strategy, variety and which means of paintings items and examines the artistic technique by which they arrive into being. various images and drawings illustrate his arguments, and aid to provide an explanation for the adjustments that experience taken position.
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Extra resources for Art History in Africa: An Introduction to Method
Now the greater age of an art object enhances its value and an attribution of date becomes a m atter for expertise of authenticity. 20 CHAPTER TWO IDENTIFICATION LABELS, OBJECTS AND D O C U M EN TS* Most visitors to museums or readers often just glance at an object or its reproduction and then look for a label or caption such as ‘Ekoi headpiece’ or ‘Qait bai mosque, Cairo’ before they turn to a study of the work. Labels and captions provide identification. They are coordinates in space and time and allow the ‘placement’ of objects in relation to others, because they form a grid according to which any work of art can be ordered.
His collector might have obtained it up to well over fifty kilometres or so away in a circle all around. In another case a mask was acquired in Tabora, Tanzania before 1898. Yet its style is clearly central-east Luba (see Fig. 1). Very likely it came to Tabora along the caravan routes (Frobenius 1898: Fig. 12, Tafel V; Krieger and Kutscher 1960:84, Bild 73, n. 161 and Bild 75, n. 165). As trade and sales of objects were not at all rare in precolonial Africa even south of the Sahara, the latter situation may have been much more common, especially for early objects, than is realized.
Most botanists argue that where tree-rings occur, even in tropical conditions, the method should be applicable (Doutrelepont, personal communication 1980). But banks of comparative natural materials m ust be set up and quick results cannot be expected, especially since local climatic effects require many control banks rather than just a few for the continent. Opponents claim that it cannot be done, because uncertainties would be too great, because the results would not be worth the effort, and - among museum curators - because works of art should not be mutilated, even by taking fractions out of their core.
Art History in Africa: An Introduction to Method by J. Vansina