'African Brilliance: A Diplomat’s Sixty Years of Collecting' presents a wide-ranging selection of African art from the notable collection amassed by Ambassador Allen Davis. His long career with the U.S. State Department afforded him the opportunity to build an outstanding collection representing many of the key cultures of East, Central, and West Africa. The exhibition features eighty-three objects by twentieth-century African artists from a variety of cultures across the continent, including the Dan people of Liberia, the Mossi and Lobi peoples of Burkina Faso, the Dogon and Bamana peoples of Mali, the Akan peoples of Ghana, and the Kuba peoples of Democratic Republic of the Congo, among others. The works include carved and decorated wooden sculptures, natural fibre and beaded textiles, metalwork, and ceramic pots that represent household, community, and ritual practices.
Highlights from this season’s curated Arts of Africa, Oceania and North America sale in Paris include works of art from the Collection of James and Marilynn Alsdorf featuring African masterpieces, such as a newly discovered Akan terracotta head and North American art. The Oceanic section of our April 8th sale is highlighted by a gope board and agipa hook both collected by Thomas Schultze-Westrum in Papua New Guinea. The African art section includes works from an Important European Private Collection, including a major Urhobo statue from Nigeria, a museum-quality Igbo couple and beautiful masks from the Fang, Chokwe and Punu. From a Belgian collection, an important Songye kifwebe masks will be offered at auction, as well as a rare Songye power figure with a turned head.
The pieces selected for the auction have the potential to attract broad competition, and we have extensive experience engaging new potential buyers in all of our African and Oceanic art auctions in Paris, with our team of international experts based in Paris, London and New York, as well as our colleagues in cross-over collecting fields who will personally be on hand to promote these sales.
The BRUNEAF (Brussels Non European Art Fair) has now become one of the leading exhibitions on African tribal art in the world. BRUNEAF developed from the first unified public presentation of a handful of tribal antique dealers in 1983 in the Sablon area. It is now one of the leading such fairs in Europe. Since 1996, the fair has included international galleries, including France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Netherlands, and the US. Today, it includes African, Oceanian, Indonesian, pre-Columbian, Asiatic, and Australian Aboriginal art.
Peggy Guggenheim challenged boundaries as a patron and collector and is celebrated for her groundbreaking European and American modern art collection. Migrating Objects: Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection focuses on a lesser-known, but crucial episode in Guggenheim’s collecting: her turn in the 1950s and ’60s to works created by artists in Africa, Oceania, and the indigenous Americas. Migrating Objects represents a remarkable occasion to view 35 rarely seen non-Western artworks Guggenheim collected, shown at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection as a cohesive whole for the first time.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, a strict gendered division of artistic labour existed throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Men worked in wood and metal, carving and casting works that glorified leaders and paid homage to deities, while women created works in clay, cloth, and beads, stitching and firing the art of everyday life. This exhibition brings together two dozen works from the BMA's collection to demonstrate the critical role of women in shaping and maintaining social identities across 20th-century Africa.