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Anonymous Has a Name: African Master Carvers

Date: 20 September 2018 (Thursday)
Time: 6:30pm
Venue: Room 4.34, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus

When visiting an African art exhibition in Europe or the United States, works are generally ascribed to an unknown or unidentified artist or, more commonly, to a culture or people. The alleged anonymity of so-called traditional African artists is largely the result of the limited interest on the part of the mostly non-African collectors of the objects that today populate museums and collections around the world. Some earlier studies notwithstanding, interest in African artists and their training did unfortunately not start until the 1950s and ’60s, and information about sculptors, their biography, and their methods remains very limited. This lecture will shed light on the careers and oeuvre of a number of artists from across sub-Saharan Africa who during their lifetime were locally recognized and even praised.

Speaker: Constantine Petridis (Chair and Curator of African Art, Department of Arts and Africa and the Americans, The Art Institute of Chicago)

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