Miami Art Week 2022 Trend Watch

On the Uses (and Abuses) of Traditional African Art

December 12, 2022 By: Kevin D. Dumouchelle

A review of the classic African art themes and trends at Art Basel Miami Beach and Untitled art fair (November 29 - December 3, 2022).

The Béatrice and Patrick Caput Collection

Preview of the upcoming Christie’s auction

October 18, 2022 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The Caput sale promises to be the classic African art auction highlight of 2022. WIll it live up to expectations?

Send It Back!

Chronicling the African Art Repatriation Debate

October 16, 2022 By: Adenike Cosgrove

As the debate about the restitution and repatriation of looted African artworks and cultural artefacts rages on, we chronicle the timeline of events that have and continue to shape the question, should Western museums send back looted African art.

Islamic Influence in the Work of Yorùbá Sculptor Bámigbóyè

October 16, 2022 By: James Green

The Yale University Art Gallery presents an examination of the 50-year career of Yoruba artist Moshood Olúṣọmọ Bámigbóyè (ca. 1885–1975), reuniting masterworks from his workshop in the exhibition, ‘Bámigbóyè: A Master Sculptor of the Yorùbá Tradition.’

A Review of Parcours des Mondes 2022

Time for Renewal

September 17, 2022 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The 2022 edition of Parcours des Mondes opened on Tuesday 06 September. We review the highs and lows of this year's edition.

Collector Spotlight

Serge Tiroche, Israel

May 12, 2022 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"The idea of the Africa First Collection was to leave the bar and only focus on the bell... Today we're focusing more on discovery."

The Language of Beauty in African Art

April 20, 2022 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The Kimbell Art Museum presents 'The Language of Beauty in African Art.' With the exhibition underway, we catch up with curator Constantine Petridis, to further explore the vision behind the project.

The Language of Beauty in African Art

Exhibition Preview

April 19, 2022 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The Kimbell Art Museum presents 'The Language of Beauty in African Art.' This exhibition aims to challenge Western concepts of aesthetics by presenting works of art through the perspectives and languages of the people in West, Central and Southern Africa.

2022 State of the African Art Market

Voice of the Collector

March 15, 2022 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Explore the latest 'State of the African Art Market' report to uncover who’s collecting African art, what they are buying, and how they think the market will evolve over the next few years.

Rediscovered 'Face of the Ngil'

February 13, 2022 By: Adenike Cosgrove

A ngil mask, hidden in an attic for decades, is coming up for auction in March. We find out why the market is excited about this discovery.

2021 Winter Auction Review

December 31, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

As 2021 draws to a close, we review the winter 2021 auctions.

Treasures of the Al Thani Collection

December 01, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Preview of the ‘Treasures’ exhibition at the Hôtel de la Marine.

Artist Spotlight

Charles Degeyter, Belgium

November 30, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"These pieces that are with my family... what are they doing here? What can we learn from these pieces?"

Artist Spotlight

Victor Ekpuk, Nigeria

October 22, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"African imagination continues to be the womb of uncredited artistic inspiration to Western artists including Hollywood."

"Tribal" Runway

Runway Looks Inspired by African Art

September 30, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Coinciding with Paris Fashion Week, we highlight the runway looks and luxury jewellery designs inspired by classic African art over the years.

Collector Spotlight

Ron van Doorn, Netherlands

September 27, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"When you first see akua'mma, you think they're all the same but they're not, there are a lot of differences."

Collector Spotlight

Cooper Evans, United States

September 22, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Find someone who knows what they're doing because you can't go into this alone. There's no way."

Artist Spotlight

King Houndekpinkou, France

September 13, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Beninese ancestral libations and Japanese pottery. What could possibly connect these two traditions? King Houndekpinkou.

An Open Love Letter to Parcours Des Mondes 2021

September 11, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Our love letter to the fair that stole our hearts.

Collector Spotlight

Woods Davy, United States

July 25, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"For me, power transcends beauty. I focused on the kifwebe mask due to its hauntingly powerful stare, fused with its combination of intelligence and emotion."

Collector Spotlight

Michele Bondoni, Italy

June 18, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Better to acquire a few objects of top quality than many objects of medium quality."

The Michel Périnet Collection

Preview of the Upcoming Christie’s Auction

May 31, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The sale of the Michel Périnet collection is set to be the highlight of the auction season. We ask the team behind the sale to share the one African artwork in the sale that they are most excited about.

Collector Spotlight

Barry Hecht, United States

April 25, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"You just have to see as much as you can and contact people. I'm always willing to give somebody an opinion. You just have to seek out the right people, see and touch things, deal with reliable dealers. That would be my major advice for people."

Africa Reborn

African Aesthetics in Contemporary Art

April 12, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Preview of the ‘Africa Reborn’ exhibition at the muse du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.

New Book: Transitional Art of the Tikar from Cameroon

March 28, 2021 By: Dr. David Zemanek

Much of the classic African art in the market today was made during colonial times for a western audience. Dr. David Zemanek explains how local artists responded to increased demand by analysing Tikar art made by Cameroonian artists.

Chasing Asiru Olatunde’s Dreams

March 27, 2021 By: Molara Wood

Revisiting the 2005 exhibition at the John Martin Gallery devoted to the work by Nigerian artist, Asiru Olatunde.

1966 in African Art

March 22, 2021 By: Hermione Waterfield

Charting the people, places, and events that defined the year.

Here Are the Must-Try Hair Trends of the 1900s

Animating Old Photos of Igbo People

March 19, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Here are the hair trends to try from 1900s Igboland.

Christie’s Sells the Saulnier Ciolkowska Collection for €87,875

March 14, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Review of the 'Living with African and Oceanic Arts' auction.

New Book: 100 African Blades

100 Knives From 55 Collections

March 02, 2021 By: Ethan Rider

100 African Blades presents a selection of 100 traditional African blades that are not only functional but also works of art.

2021 State of the African Art Market

Voice of the Collector

February 17, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected collector acquisitions and how are they engaging with their collections? Explore the latest report to uncover how the African art market is expected to evolve.

Ultimate Gray + Illuminating

Pantone's 2021 Colour of the Year in African Art

January 09, 2021 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Ultimate Gray and Illuminating are the Pantone 2021 'Colours of the Year'. We highlight examples of this year's colours in African art.

Collector Spotlight

Prince Dr. Yemisi Shyllon, Nigeria

December 22, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"The question arises as to how prepared we are to rightly receive, manage, and handle those works on their return. Are we psychologically ready? Are we infrastructurally ready, technically ready, scientifically ready?"

Dealer Spotlight

Alain Dufour, France

December 07, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"We are seeing the emergence of a new clientele from Africa... I think that in the longer term, Africans are going to re-appropriate many objects from their culture."

New Book: Beauty Unusual

Masterworks from the Ceil Pulitzer Collection of African Art

December 06, 2020 By: Susan Kloman

Highlighting the best works from the Ceil Pulitzer Collection of African Art, put together over more than 30 years.

100 x Congo

A Century of Congolese Art in Antwerp

November 20, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Highlighting masterpieces of Congolese art at the Museum aan de Stroom... and exploring how they got there.

The Harley Masks of Northeast Liberia

October 31, 2020 By: Louis T. Wells

Identifying Dan, Mano, and Geh masks collected by Dr. George Way Harley.

Collector Spotlight

Thomas Halling, Sweden

October 15, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Being together with people who share your interest gives collecting an extra dimension."

"Reconciliation Is the Embrace of Morality"

Frank Verpoorten on the Jean Pigozzi Collection of African Art

October 08, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Jean Pigozzi has built a collection of more than 3,000 contemporary African artworks over a forty-year period. The last time the collection was on public view was fifteen years ago. Curator Frank Verpoorten plans to change that.

Parcours des Mondes 2020

A Virtual Tour

September 11, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Browse through the various African art galleries exhibiting at this year's Parcours des Mondes.

Hidden in Plain Sight

How a Curator Found and Repatriated Eleven Looted Djenné Bracelets

September 10, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

What do you do when you find that objects in your collection are possibly looted? Dr Kristen Windmuller-Luna retraces the timeline of discovery in Brooklyn to repatriation to Mali of looted Djenné bracelets.

Collector Spotlight

Dr. Oliver E. Cobb, United States

September 09, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Subscribe to as many 'tribal' auctions as you can, use the internet, use Google for specific items and scan eBay where there just might be "that one piece" among all the decorative fakes... Dealers don't necessarily have an advantage over you."

Echoes and Agreements

Echi and Accordi

August 20, 2020 By: Theophilus Marboah

Juxtaposing images from Africa and its diaspora with works from the European art canon to stimulates new ways to make sense of images of blackness.

Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’

Scenes and Looks Inspired by Classic African Art

August 09, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Beyoncé’s ‘Black Is King’ is a “celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience,” one that celebrates "the breadth and beauty of Black ancestry." We highlight how.

Knife Groups

Iron Forests

August 01, 2020 By: Ethan Rider

African art dealer, Ethan Rider showcases his love of African knives by photographing 'iron forests'.

ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA Reading List

Seven Curators on the Books They’re Reading This Summer

July 27, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

African art books of 2020 as recommended by seven scholars.

The Collection of Sidney & Bernice Clyman

June 27, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Sotheby's New York will present the collection of Sidney & Bernice Clyman on 29 and 30 June. Alexander Grogan, Head of the Art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, explains why this sale is "special" and "unprecedented".

"The question is not about location but ownership."

Okeke-Agulu on the Looting, Market, and Restitution of Igbo Alusi Figures

June 26, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Chika Okeke-Agulu, Professor of African and American Diaspora Art at Princeton University, is calling for the halt of the sale of two Igbo alusi figures in the upcoming Christie's sale. We speak to him to find out why.

Parcours des Mondes 2020

Interview with Fair Director, Pierre Moos

June 24, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, Parcours des Mondes is going ahead this year, much to the surprise of many. Have the organisers done enough to ensure visitor safety? You decide.

Collector Spotlight

Simi Launay, Portugal

May 28, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Find something that you connect with and love because then it becomes something that you want to learn about. It becomes a new passion. It's not just about art... There's so much more to it. It opens up this door of learning that you can't tire from."

African Child Figures Are (Usually) Not Dolls

May 22, 2020 By: Herbert M. Cole

They are often not "dolls." Collectors and dealers should know better than to perpetuate an inaccurate label for widely used, spiritually sanctioned 'child' figures that belong to hopeful African mothers. Let's get rid of an erroneous stereotype.

Collector Spotlight

Leinuo Zhang, Milan

May 07, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"You see how you look in the mirror, but you see exactly who you are in art. I feel myself, I see myself in African art. This is a vital reason that I began collecting. I feel that I cannot live without them."

Collector Spotlight

Anna Demina, Milan

April 10, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"To reduce the human form to its basic elements and do it perfectly... you immediately understand this is the human body and only geometrical forms are left of it."

Migrating Objects

Preview of the Peggy Guggenheim African Art Exhibition

April 05, 2020 By: Kathryn Cua

Everyone knows Peggy Guggenheim for her Modern art collection, but she collected exceptional classic African art too.

TEFAF Maastricht

Showcasing African Art at the 2020 Edition

March 16, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

If like us, you didn’t make it to TEFAF in time, don’t worry, we got you. Browse the African art exhibited at this year's TEFAF Maastricht.

2020 State of the African Art Market

Voice of the Collector

February 27, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Discover who today’s collectors of African art are, what they are buying, and how they think the market will evolve over the next few years in ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA's 2020 State of the African Art Market report.

What Sold at BRAFA 2020

February 09, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

BRAFA signals the start of the 2020 African art season. We review this year's edition and highlight some of the works that sold.

Classic Blue

Pantone's 2020 Colour of the Year in African Art

February 03, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Classic Blue is the Pantone 2020 'Colour of the Year'. We highlight examples of this year's colour in African art.

2020 Hotlist: Exhibitions to See This Year

Mark Your Calendars

January 18, 2020 By: Adenike Cosgrove

From Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at Tate Britain to Sahel at the Met, here are this year’s must-see museum exhibitions.

Collector Spotlight

Leif Birger Holmstedt, Denmark

December 15, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"When I began collecting, I initially made a few purchasing mistakes. I was impressed by exciting 'hybrid' masks... I quickly got rid of these decorative ornamental pieces in favour of objects that had been consecrated and used in various forms of ceremonies and rituals."

Reflections on Art X Lagos 2019

December 09, 2019 By: Kathryn Cua

Art X Lagos has contributed to Africa’s continental rise in contemporary art fairs. We reflect on the success of the fourth edition of the Lagos art fair.

Photographing African Art Like A Pro

An Interview with Hughes Dubois

November 29, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Hughes Dubois first started photographing art in 1977—forty years later he has produced over 50,000 photographs of more than 38,000 art objects that have been featured in 190 publications. We ask Hughes for his tips and advice on how to photograph African art like a pro.

Collector Spotlight

Sharon & John Hoffman, United States

November 26, 2019 By: Rachel Kabukala

"Buy the best artists and the best piece you can afford. And enjoy the journey!"

Heroes Preview

Principles of African Greatness

November 17, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Through art, artists tell stories—stories of the world’s current complexity, but also visions of a world that could yet be. 'Heroes' features a selection of permanent-collection works from the National Museum of African Art that tell the story of key heroic principles and personages in Africa’s arts and history.

Collector Spotlight

Robert Wilson, United States

November 12, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"My favourite piece is the one I am looking at. My advice—you can never see too much. Look, look, look!"

What Sold at Parcours des Mondes 2019

September 22, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Parcours des Mondes signals the start of the autumn African art season. We review the 2019 edition and highlight some of the works that sold this year.

Collector Spotlight

Marc Franklin, United States

September 01, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Africa is the future; there’s no doubt. African art and its contemporary quality—its contemporary reliance on traditional aspects of aesthetics—is just too important to die. It can't."

Artist Spotlight

Cyprien Tokoudagba, Benin

August 31, 2019 By: Keiron Levine

Cyprien Tokoudagba's work illustrates traditional symbolism and motifs of Fon Vodun with Abomey history allowing for a rich, modern interpretation.

Africa Reimagined

How Classic African Art Influences Contemporary Art

August 30, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Africa is continuing". New forms of traditional art are being created every day and classic works of African art continue to inspire today's contemporary artists. Explore the influence the classics have on contemporary works.

ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA Reading List

Three Dealers Share Their Summer Recommendations

August 09, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

African art books of 2019 recommended by three dealers.

Changing Narratives with Endy C. Ezeluomba

The Curator of African Art at NOMA on Restitution and the Future of African Art

July 26, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Ndubuisi “Endy” C. Ezeluomba, Françoise Billion Richardson Curator of African Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art, shares his thoughts on restitution, connecting the classic and contemporary, and the future of African art.

Collector Spotlight

Anahita Sadighi, Berlin

July 22, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Do enough research before you buy something and to buy from great dealers."

Something That Binds

Preview of 'IncarNations: African Art as Philosophy'

June 30, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

'IncarNations. African Art as Philosophy' crosses the African continent in search of the essence of African art. Preview the show and hear from its curator, Kendell Geers, by reading his opening speech to the exhibition.

Art of the Hemba and Luba Peoples

June 26, 2019 By: Dr. David Zemanek

Sacral royalty and the belief in the great ancestors strongly influenced the masterpieces of the Luba and Hemba. The sculptures of both ethnic groups, however, show significant differences.

The Marceau Rivière Collection

Preview of the Upcoming Sotheby's Auction

June 16, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The Sotheby's sale of the Marceau Rivière COllection kicks off tomorrow! Here's what to keep an eye out for during the auction.

Artist Spotlight

Kofi Cole, United States

June 13, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

'Kofi Cole', the artist pseudonym used by African art historian Herbert M. Cole, creates miniature versions of classic African figures and masks. In this Artist Spotlight, we hear from Kofi Cole about his love of African art and his creations which praise the small.

Tristan Tzara

Poet, Writer, Film Producer, and Collector

June 01, 2019 By: Leif Birger Holmstedt

In his 'Note on Negro Art', Tristan Tzara proclaimed that "black draws light". The father of the Dada art movement was a passionate collector of historical African art. We explore who Tzara was and what drove his love of art from the African continent.

Collector Spotlight

Jean & Noble Endicott, United States

April 06, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Learn to tell real from fake. That’s my number one concern. So many collectors have spent a lot of money building collections with hundreds of fakes!"


Stories and Identities of a Universal Art

March 19, 2019 By: Elio Revera || Ilaria Pol Bodetto

I had the pleasure and the honour of being asked to collaborate on the preparation of this important exhibition. The following presentation, which accompanies the event, is the result of the joining of forces between those that knew and appreciated Ezio Bassani.

Royal Arts of Ghana

Gold Ornaments from the Hartmann Collection

March 02, 2019 By: Dr. David Zemanek

The appreciation of West African gold objects is based on their richness of form and highly sophisticated craftsmanship. We delve into the skill involved in making royal Akan gold ornaments by reviewing works from the Hartmann Collection.

2019 State of the African Art Market

Voice of the Collector

February 28, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Discover who today’s collectors of African art are, what they are buying, and how they think the market will evolve over the next few years in ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA's 2019 State of the African Art Market report.

Artist Spotlight

Nathan Mabry, United States

February 10, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Nathan Mabry’s work transforms the known into the new and the unexpected. Mabry melds classic African art with the contemporary, producing works in wood, plaster, and clay that satirise modernist derivates of historical works. Through his work, Mabry questions the narratives of progress that frame the history of Western art.

Rage Against the Machine

Highlights of BRAFA 2019

February 03, 2019 By: Adenike Cosgrove

BRAFA 2019 closes this weekend. Here's what to expect at the fair this year.

Dealer Spotlight

Nicolas Paszukiewicz & Sébastien Hauwaert, Belgium

January 23, 2019 By: Ilaria Pol Bodetto || Deborah Dainese

"Young collectors need to exercise patience. They do not need to create their collection in six months, it doesn’t work like that. Collecting should be a lifetime passion, there’s no need to rush. Take your time, have fun—there’s nothing more rewarding."

The African Mona Lisa

Ben Enwonwu's 'Tutu'

January 18, 2019 By: Sandro Capo Chichi

Many have bemoaned the label 'African Mona Lisa' used to describe Ben Enwonwu's 'Tutu'. But is it a justified appellation? Sandro Capo Chichi investigates.

Leon Underwood

Sculptor, Scholar, and Collector

January 13, 2019 By: Leif Birger Holmstedt

Leon Underwood was the father of British modernism, tutor to Henry Moore. But did you know that he collected classic African art too?

Asen: Identifying Form, Style, and Artists

Barbier-Mueller Exhibition Preview: Part II

December 10, 2018 By: Suzanne Preston Blier

We provide a preview of the exhibition, Asen: Mémoires de fer Forgé - Art Vodun du Danhomè in this two-part article. Part II explores these stunning works, both individually and in core artistic groups that represent key examples of these arts from the southern West African area of Benin Republic.

Asen: Dahomey History and Forged Memories of Iron

Barbier-Mueller Exhibition Preview: Part I

December 10, 2018 By: Suzanne Preston Blier

We provide a preview of the exhibition, Asen: Mémoires de fer Forgé - Art Vodun du Danhomè in this two-part article. Part I explores questions of use, the history of these arts, the political changes that occurred in Dahomey in which asen featured prominently, and how asen help us to understand the changing relationships between local residents and Europeans in the pre-colonial and colonial era.

In Defense of Clay

Celebrating Terracotta Works in the Monti Collection

December 03, 2018 By: Joris Visser

In praise of clay, terracotta, stone, and soil, we explore the allure that ‘Earth’ once had.

Preview of the Sotheby's Paris 2018 Autumn Auction

The Pierre Bergé Collection

October 19, 2018 By: Pierre Mollfulleda

Pierre Bergé's estate, including his collection of African art, is coming up for sale at Sotheby’s, and the estimates caught our eye!

54 Countries, One Continent

Our Picks From 1-54 London 2018

October 12, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Remember at the start of the year, when we said that contemporary African art is the darling of the industry? Well, if this year's 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair is anything to go by then we were right.

Parcours des Mondes 2018

But What Do the People Think?

September 26, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The autumn African art season of 2018 kicked off with the 17th edition of the Paris art fair, Parcours des Mondes. We asked this year's fair visitors to share their highlights from the show.

Wifredo Lam

Cuban Artist & Collector: Reclaiming African Symbolism

September 23, 2018 By: Leif Birger Holmstedt

Cuban artist Wifredo Lam was a frontrunner of a cross-cultural state of style that subsumed Western modernism with African and Caribbean symbolism. His search for an artistic standpoint brought him in contact with the avant-garde movements of his age, movements that all had great significance in his work.

L’Art Rituel and the Aesthetics of the Real

Trauma and Magic

September 19, 2018 By: Srdjan Sremac

Ritual objects express the philosophical and aesthetical maxim of life. Ritual performance functions as a framework that enables entrusting one’s self to the unexpected, uncharted way of 'traumatic' reality in which the sublime emerges.

Collector Spotlight

William Harper, United States

August 09, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"In the exhibition were three small Fon bocio figures. They had a kind of mystery that I had been trying to bring into my own work. Seeing the Fon figures was one of those moments when the lightbulb went off in my head."

ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA Reading List

Books to Pack on Your Holiday

August 09, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

We asked eight collectors to share their favourite books on African art to help you decide on your holiday reading.

Dealer Spotlight

Ann de Pauw, Belgium

July 31, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"With bocio figures, one can always see the wood. If the whole piece is ‘sacrificed’ from top to bottom (and even underneath), then you can be almost certain that it is a fake. A natural sacrificial patina is built up, little by little, over time."

The Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert Collection

Preview of the Upcoming Christie’s Auction

June 22, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Christie’s Paris will present the collection of Liliane and Michel Durand-Dessert. Bruno Claessens, European Head of African and Oceanic Art, explains who the couple is behind the collection and why this sale is not only unique but also important.

What's in a Name?

Redefining 'Historical' African Art

June 19, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Primitive, tribal, ethnographic, fetish. Where did these terms originate and what should we call art made by African artists in the past?

Reclaiming History

The Return of Stolen Works from the Dundo Museum

June 15, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The Sindika Dokolo Foundation identifies and recovers six additional works stolen from the Dundo Museum in Angola. Find out what the foundation has been up to since we last spoke to Sindika.

Wooden Fans of the Calabar Coast

Female Art Revisited

June 09, 2018 By: Dr. David Zemanek

Learn why Ibibio wooden fans, objects of daily use, should be considered art.

Pierre Dartevelle

50 Years of Collecting

May 22, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

For the first time, the private collection of Pierre Dartevelle, the internationally renowned African Art dealer will be on show at Lempertz. We preview some of the major works that will be on display at the exhibition.


An Artist and His African Adventure

May 19, 2018 By: Leif Birger Holmstedt

The Dutch artist Guillaume Cornelis van Beverloo (Corneille) found inspiration for his work in classic African masks and figures. Learn how his style evolved and what his collection consisted.

Tits and Pricks

About Hermione Waterfield
and the Creation of the ‘Tribal Art’ Department at Christie’s

May 02, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Hermione Waterfield joined Christie's auction house in 1961 and created the dedicated 'Tribal Art' department in 1975. Read how Hermione came to create the ‘Tribal Art’ department and her thoughts on the evolving market.

Artist Spotlight

Hank Willis Thomas, United States

April 22, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Hank Willis Thomas’ ‘The Beautiful Game’ explores the intersection of art, sports, geopolitics, and modernism’s debt to traditional African art. We spoke with Hank to learn more.

Collector Spotlight

Mamadou-Abou & Catherine Sarr, United States

April 21, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"When we eventually had the means, we were so eager to make the connection between our upbringing and an art collection, especially photography. From that first piece in Gabon, to where we are today, I’d say that we have a very eclectic collection from artists from around the world yet with a focus on photography from the African Diaspora."


A Story In History

April 15, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Provenance. Everyone talks about it but how many really understand it? We spent time with Hermione Waterfield, founder of the 'Tribal Art' department at Christie’s, to learn what 'good' provenance is.

Exploring Motherhood in African Arts

April 06, 2018 By: Herbert M. Cole

Mother and child imagery is prevalent on the African continent. Maternity images are used by everyone, from commoners to diviners, priests to kings—varied objects used in everyday and ritual life. Learn more about portrayals of mothers and their children in this preview of 'Maternity: Mothers and Children in the Arts of Africa'.

Artist Spotlight

Dimitri Fagbohoun, France

March 15, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Born in Benin, growing up in Cameroon, and now working between Paris, Brussels and Cotonou, Dimitri Fagbohoun's work questions what it is to be 'African'. Fagbohoun reflects on his background and history, straddling geographical and artistic boundaries. Learn how Dimitri interprets classic works of African art.

Collector Spotlight

Montague Hermann, United States

March 08, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

“While most were milling around traditional pieces [at the Dakar Biennale] I thought, there’s really cool stuff over here, there’s a conversation to be had about contemporary African art.”

Through the Eyes of Picasso

February 27, 2018 By: Rachel Kabukala

This exhibition, at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, explores Pablo Picasso’s life-long fascination with African art. It unites his paintings and sculpture with art that fuelled his own creative exploration. See works that Picasso collected, lived with, and kept with him through numerous studio moves.

New Book: Something Magical

The Kwagh-Hir of the Tiv

February 24, 2018 By: Ethan Rider

At the end of the colonial period, the Tiv of Nigeria invented the Kwagh-Hir masquerade to reaffirm their traditions. The Jerome Bunch Collection, assembled over many years and exceeding 1,000 pieces, is one of the largest collections of Kwagh-Hir material in the world. Get a preview of the new book featuring Jerome's collection.

Collector Spotlight

Javier Peres, Berlin

February 13, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"The mistakes that I made were collecting purely impulsively and not really studying and comparing and doing the legwork. Because early on, not doing the preliminary steps can be very detrimental. Late in the game, now, I can make a really quick decision on something and the likelihood of me screwing up is a lot less."

Robert Jacobsen

Artist and Collector

February 09, 2018 By: Leif Birger Holmstedt

When asked why he collects African art, artist Robert Jacobsen said, "I have always been interested in art related to magic. It invites the imagination..."

Splendid Splendour

Our Review of BRAFA 2018

January 28, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

BRAFA 2018 is now in full swing. Here's a preview of what to expect at the fair this year.

2018 State of the African Art Market

Voice of the Collector

January 05, 2018 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Discover who today’s collectors of African art are, what they are buying, and how they think the market will evolve over the next few years in ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA's first State of the African Art Market report.

New Book: Maternités aus dem Pays Lobi

December 16, 2017 By: Dr. Stephan Herkenhoff

The Lobi people of Burkina Faso are one of the most interesting in Africa. Their belief in nature spirits and gods still exists today as does their authentic, varied and very individual representation of maternity figures.

Artist Spotlight

Lukman Alade Fakeye, Nigeria

December 04, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The youngest of the Fakeye family of carvers, Lukman Alade Fakeye, son of Akin Fakeye and nephew of Lamidi Fakeye, continues the carving legacy by creating contemporary versions of traditional Yoruba art.

Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa’s Arts

November 28, 2017 By: Kevin D. Dumouchelle

'Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts', the National Museum of African Art’s new permanent collection installation curated by Kevin D. Dumouchelle, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Karen E. Milbourne, represents the broadest possible range of Africa’s creative visual expressions. Featuring over 300 works of art, 'Visionary' takes as its central premise the primary activity, of 'looking'.

Carl Kjersmeier

Pioneer Among Collectors of African Art

November 21, 2017 By: Leif Birger Holmstedt

Carl Kjersmeier was a passionate collector of classic African art. He devoted his life to not only collecting art but strived to understand the work processes of the artists that created these objects. Learn about the life, journey, and passion of this poet at heart.

Collector Spotlight

Magnus & Tina Svensson, Sweden

November 14, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"The most important piece of advice is to see and touch as many pieces as you can. Train your eye and you will begin to see the differences sooner or later. Then you will see pieces and know, that one—no, that one—yes!"

Dealer Spotlight

Dr. David Zemanek, Germany

November 10, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Be passionate about the work you collect. Don't only look at the provenance of an object but also consider its artistic qualities. There is no masterpiece waiting for you on eBay….so buy from trusted sources. Share your passion with other collectors, get as much information as possible about an object, before you acquire it."

Oṣogbo Art Movement

An Introduction to Modern Nigerian Art

November 04, 2017 By: Dr. David Zemanek

The Oṣogbo art movement took root in the early '60s, paving the way for a new generation of modern Nigerian artists. Learn how some of these innovative artists evolved traditional Nigerian culture into modern art.

Les Forêts Natales: In Their Native Forests Preview

Arts of Atlantic Equatorial Africa

October 28, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

An exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac looks at the principle artistic styles of the cultural groups from southern Cameroon, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Gabonese Republic, and west of the Republic of the Congo.

Joseph Aurélien Cornet

and His Importance to Classic Congolese Art

October 15, 2017 By: Leif Birger Holmstedt

Father Joseph Cornet has been described as a man devoted to study, teaching, and art. Based on his time and experiences in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, spent with chiefs and as director of the Institut des Musées Nationaux du Zaïre, he has authored a number of books on classic art from Africa. Learn about J. A. Cornet’s work, life, and research.

Collector Spotlight

Tonia Marek, France

October 10, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"I now collect two types of beads from Africa; those that either have a history—ancient glass beads—and beads that are used in rituals by African traditional healers, or in animistic rites. I discovered those functions of beads in West Africa, and I started documenting those uses, bead by bead."

Journey Through Treasures

Three Takeaways From Parcours des Mondes 2017

September 24, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Another year, another Parcours des Mondes over but boy what a show. Revisit some of the masterpieces and highlights from the fair.

Parcours des Mondes 2017

First Impressions by First-Timers

September 21, 2017 By: Deborah Dainese | Ilaria Pol Bodetto

Parcours des Mondes is over but the magic lives on for these two first-timers! Relive the experience of attending the world's best fair for Classic African art through fresh eyes.

Free Book: Dogon – Images & Traditions

September 18, 2017 By: Huib Blom

Dogon architecture, culture, and art has fascinated the West since the early twentieth century. Dutch photographer, Huib Blom's 'Dogon—Images & Traditions' sheds light on the landscapes, architectures, and art of the Malian ethnic group. What's more, the book is now free to download!

Exposing, Analyzing, & Understanding Inauthentic African Knives

An Ongoing Survey

September 14, 2017 By: Ethan Rider

Knives from Africa don’t resemble knives from anywhere else on the planet. Today however, the manufacture of reproduction weapons has increased. Learn what 'fake' is and how to spot inauthentic African knives.

New Book: Africa, in the Shadow of the Gods

African Collections of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit

August 30, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove | Nicolas Rolland

September 2017 will see the publication of 'Africa, in the shadow of the gods', a book about the incredible history of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in African over the last three centuries. Never-before-seen classic African art masterpieces from the Congregation's collection are exposed for the first time.

Meet the African Art Museums of Instagram

August 27, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

We've curated a list of 10 museums that regularly post images of African art masterpieces in their collections, keeping us in the know about recent acquisitions and events. Here are the museums with collections of stunning classic African art.

Artist Spotlight

Kendell Geers, South Africa

August 17, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

South African born, Belgian artist Kendell Geers, uses art to challenge notions of identity. We hear from Kendell, in his own words, how classic African art has inspired his work and helped him question and define his identity.

10 Must-See Pieces at Tribal Art London

August 06, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

September 6th will see the return of Tribal Art London, signalling the start of the autumn African art season. We asked ten dealers to each share the one African art piece they believe visitors will be excited about.

ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA Reading List

"Reading Is Fundamental"

July 27, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

To get you daydreaming during your holidays, and to prepare you for the African art fairs and auctions coming up in September, we've compiled a list of five books we can't wait to get lost in this summer.

Artist Spotlight

Wole Lagunju, Nigeria

July 01, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Drawing from his childhood experiences in Oṣogbo and professional life in urban Lagos, Wole combines classical Gelede masks with European imagery to explore themes about culture, prestige, race, and globalisation.

Collector Spotlight

Kristina Achmann-Paul & Andreas Achmann, Germany

June 29, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Take your time before any purchase. Do intense research before you decide on a piece. Do not let yourself be pressured by anyone. Even if this special item is sold by the time you have decided to go for it, there will be another piece."

Harnessing Ojú Inú

Discussing the LACMA ‘Inner Eye’ Exhibition

June 22, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

LACMA's ‘The Inner Eye: Vision and Transcendence in African Arts’ show is exhibiting 100 iconic African art objects that explore how the arts reflect cultural ideas of vision and visuality. In a conversation with Dr. Polly Nooter Roberts, consulting curator of African art at LACMA, we discuss the theme behind the show, its star pieces, and her recommendations on how collectors can use their ‘inner eyes’.


Parcours des Mondes Preview with Javier Peres

June 18, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Parcours des Mondes has been instrumental in encouraging people to visit classic African art galleries in Paris. We joined this year's honorary president, Javier Peres, to discuss the three African art objects he views as highlights of Parcours des Mondes 2017, set to run from Tuesday 12 to Sunday 17th September.

Preserving African Art

Maintaining Collection Integrity

June 09, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Anne-Catherine Kenis has a 30-year career in restoring and preserving classic African art. We speak to her to learn what collectors can do to maintain the integrity of their African art objects.

Collector Spotlight

Richard Ulevitch, United States

June 02, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"I like all spoons—East Africa, South, West. To me every culture has its own artistic vision of a spoon. The creativity is so appealing given that all a spoon needs is a handle and a bowl to make it functional. But African spoons go beyond the functional, a lot of thought goes into the carving."

In Defense of Museums

Celebrating the Musée Dapper

May 25, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Founded by Michel Leveau in 1986, the Musée Dapper was opened in Paris with the mission 'to promote the traditional arts of sub-Saharan Africa'. 31 years later, it will permanently close its Europeans doors on June 18, 2017. We review the masterpieces that currently grace the exhibition floor of the museum.

Dealer Spotlight

Carlo Bella, United States

May 24, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"In [the early] days a lot of objects were available on the market. There was a tremendous amount of material in galleries, in collections, at auction, in museums. It was much easier to be in contact with a variety of objects… it was a very open world. Collectors used to throw parties at the time of auctions. The parties were fantastic, great objects and great people."

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection

Catalogues from the Museum of Primitive Art Available Online

May 14, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The Museum of Primitive Art was the first museum in the U.S. dedicated to art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Now part of the Metropolitan Museum, 72 catalogues from past MPA exhibitions have been digitised and made available free online. Here we highlight the catalogues of exhibitions featuring African art.

Sotheby’s Classic & Contemporary Art Exhibition Review

Highlighting the Universality of Classic African Art

May 10, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Sotheby’s will hold its annual African and Oceanic art auction in New York on May 15, 2017 and in Paris on 21 June 2017. We spent time with Alexis Maggiar, International Specialist of African and Oceanic art and Director at Sotheby’s Paris and Brussels, to discuss the latest Sotheby’s exhibition of African, Oceanic, and contemporary art.

Artist Spotlight

Marc Montaret, Senegal

May 06, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Self-taught artist, Marc Montaret creates contemporary interpretations of classic African sculptures and masks, in a bid to drive the rediscovery of ancient art forms. See how Marc exposes the relationship between the modern and the traditional.

Collector Spotlight

Sindika Dokolo, Angola

May 03, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"I’m working to create the best collection of classic African art in the world."

Preview of the Christie’s Paris 2017 Spring Auction: Part II

The Laprugne Collection

March 30, 2017 By: Aurore Krier-Mariani

Christie's 2017 spring African art auction has shifted to April to align “with the rhythm of the market“—coinciding with the fourth edition of Paris Tribal, and the ‘Picasso Primitif’ exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. View works from the Laprugne collection of the April sale.

Artist Spotlight

Jean-Claude Moschetti, France

March 29, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Photographer Jean-Claude Moschetti aims to capture the metaphysical realm that exists beyond our perceived reality. His series, 'Magic on earth', captures the masquerades of Sierra Leone, Benin, Guinea and Burkina Faso to highlight the coexistence of the supernatural and the mundane—to explore the visual and spiritual elements of masquerading in West Africa today.

Preview of the Christie’s Paris 2017 Spring Auction: Part I

African Art from Various Owners

March 24, 2017 By: Aurore Krier-Mariani

Christie's 2017 spring African art auction has shifted to April to align “with the rhythm of the market“—coinciding with the fourth edition of Paris Tribal, and the ‘Picasso Primitif’ exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. View works from the second part of the April sale that will no doubt be successes.

Artist Spotlight

Adeniyi Olagunju, Nigeria

February 26, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Adeniyi Olagunju wants his art to start a conversation—a conversation about how the raw materials we extract from the ground have taken precedence over more important things in our lives including culture, art and traditions. Read how Niyi’s work of bisected traditional African art questions this value system.

Dealer Spotlight

Dori Rootenberg, United States

February 20, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Work with respected dealers. It’s easy to be fooled by an object that looks authentic but isn't. The world of African art is a fairly small community. Work with dealers that are open, transparent and willing to share information."

Connecting with the Past Through Tourism and Culture

Exploring the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library

February 11, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

'Preserving the past, capturing the present and inspiring the future, with culture and tourism'—read how the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Foundation aims to preserve Nigeria's cultural and artistic heritage.

Collector Spotlight

Obi Asika, Nigeria

February 05, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Too many Africans have been defensive about being African. Our tradition and culture is not something we should throw away. We live on top of, and in the middle of, incredible treasures—our culture and antiquities are priceless."

Artist Spotlight

JK4REAL, United States

February 04, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Influenced by his father's traditional African art collection, artist JK4REAL incorporates elements of Kongo and Yombe art into his concrete and iron sculptures. Read how JK4REAL hopes to drive meaning and interaction in today's contemporary art world.

Collector Spotlight

Olufemi Akinsanya, Nigeria

January 29, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Don’t be a hero, don’t look for something that no one has seen before. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Collectors should try to avoid copies, fakes and mediocre examples."

Collector Spotlight

Deb Glasser, Switzerland

January 09, 2017 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Don't try to do it alone. Find people who will help you, mentor you, tutor you. Particularly other collectors. I have found that most collectors are very generous in sharing their passion and experience and eager to pass it on."

The Madeleine Meunier Collection: Part II

Highlight on Two Fantastic and Rare Pieces

December 10, 2016 By: Aurore Krier-Mariani

We review two masterpieces coming up for sale at the Christie’s and Millon Madeleine Meunier auction on 15 December 2016 — a Luba-Shankadi headrest and a Kuyu figure collected by Aristide Courtois and Charles Ratton.

Dealer Spotlight

Amyas Naegele, United States

November 26, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"A great deal of authentic African art was still coming from the continent when I started. I experienced one region after another provide quality art and artefacts theretofore largely unknown to the market, appear and go into rapid decline."

The Madeleine Meunier Collection: Part I

The Fabulous Guard of Aristide Courtois'
and Charles Ratton's Treasures

November 24, 2016 By: Aurore Krier-Mariani

Near half a century later, Madeleine Meunier's incredible tribal art collection will be back on the market. View Bruno Claessens' selection of historic pieces coming up for auction on 15 December 2016.

Collector Spotlight

Arno Declercq, Belgium

November 06, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"The younger generation need to see African art integrated into timeless and stylish interiors - interiors that include and even highlight tribal art. We need to show that these ‘foreign objects’ can be incredibly beautiful and can add value to an interior."

In The Field, Part II

Cameroonian Festival Art In Situ

October 23, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Art in situ brings meaning and life to static objects. View the ceremonial masks of Cameroon in their natural settings in these field photographs.

Artist Spotlight

Victor Ehikhamenor, Nigeria

October 14, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Victor Ehikhamenor, born in Edo State, Nigeria, is an award winning visual artist, writer and photographer. He draws influences from traditional African motifs and religious cosmology. Read how classic African art influences his work.

In The Field, Part I

Cameroonian Prestige Art In Context

October 05, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

See the prestige arts of Cameroon come to life in their natural palatial settlings in this first set of field photographs.

African Negro Art

The Entire MoMA Exhibition Archive Available Online

September 26, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

MoMA has made its entire exhibition archive, from its first exhibition in 1929 through to today, available online for free public viewing. Unlimited access of this magnitude is unprecedented. View the African art exhibitions within the online archive.

Parcours des Mondes 2016

The Rare and Beautiful

September 16, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

The daddy of all classic African art fairs and now in its 15th year, Parcours des Mondes impressed and at times, left us speechless! See why by reliving the experience with us.

Tribal Art London 2016

West Africa Takes Centre Stage

September 10, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

Kicking off the tribal art autumn season earlier this week was the only tribal art fair in the UK, Tribal Art London. See highlights from the fair.

ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA Reading List

From the Benue River to Lake Tanganyika

August 28, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

As you know, research is at the heart of ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA. This month, we've curated a selection of resources to help you dig deeper into the history and variety of art objects found in African ethnic groups.

Collector Spotlight

Roberto Domingos, Germany

August 08, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"For me it’s important that the objects I collect are used ritually; this is the special part of traditional African art. It has meaning, it’s not just beauty for beauty’s sake, it’s beauty for magic, power and expression."

Collector Spotlight

Srdjan Sremac, The Netherlands

July 31, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Collecting should be fun but with tribal art it’s not always that easy, it’s a tricky business. I think every collection is highly personal, the result of aesthetic encounters... a collection is an articulation of the person’s identity and self-narrative."

Collector Spotlight

Markus Ehrhard, Germany

April 30, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Africa is huge and provides enormous variety. Specialising means that you gain massive amounts of knowledge about your very specific collecting field by comparing your discoveries and understanding the similarities and differences... in the end, most importantly, be a passionate collector, not a calculating buyer!"

Collector Spotlight

Andrew Turley, Australia

March 20, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"Most important is to follow your passion... following your passion means finding out as much as possible, seeing as much as possible and touching as much as possible."

Collector Spotlight

Hartmut Brie, Germany

March 19, 2016 By: Adenike Cosgrove

"It’s important to learn as much as you can; visit museums and read books. You can also learn by touching pieces, follow pieces with your fingers. It’s the only way to identify if an object has been used."