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. FThis comprehensive survey of some 230 styles of African art is an essential reference for scholars, teachers, students, curators, collectors, and dealers.
Warren M. Robbins is Founding Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African Art. Nancy Ingram Nooter has published numerous articles about African art in academic and popular journals. Both have lectured at museums and universities throughout the United States and Africa.