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African Art

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NEWS
October 15, 1999 | BY LAOLU AKANDE
Chris Ofili's 1996 painting, "The Holy Virgin Mary," now on exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, made of acrylic, oil, paper collage, resin and elephant dung on linen, has been traced to the artist's African descent. Especially so because of the consistent use of elephant dung in his work. There is the popular belief, especially in the West, that Africa is all jungle, and the elephant is king of the jungle. In most parts of Africa, the elephant is a symbol of strength, and its dung could be seen as regenerative because it is manure and can fertilize.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 1987 | By Edward J. Sozanski, Inquirer Art Critic
At its heart, every art object is indefinable; if it weren't so, it wouldn't be art. It's this indefinable essence that artists attempt to convey, as an alternative to spoken and written language. As a language, however, art is maddeningly imprecise. There are rewards in this ambiguity, however, for art stimulates the imagination, the intellect and the emotions in a rich variety of ways. Susan Vogel, executive director of the Center for African Art in New York, demonstrates this in a novel and refreshing way through an exhibition called "Perspectives: Angles on African Art," on view at the center, 54 E. 68th St., through Jan. 3. "Perspectives" is not about African art per se; it's about the art audience.
NEWS
June 16, 2001 | By David Iams FOR THE INQUIRER
In a sale of unusual significance, Associated Auctioneers will sell the contents of an out-of-state museum devoted to the art of central and western Africa. Beginning at noon next Saturday at the Rivers Edge Memorial Center near the Tacony Palmyra Bridge, more than 500 lots will be offered, several of them of historic significance and two of them expected to sell for as much as $150,000. Important African art is not often sold at auction, certainly not locally and certainly not by an auction company more often involved in industrial liquidations.
NEWS
July 25, 1993 | By Victoria Donohoe, INQUIRER ART CRITIC
Bryn Mawr College has turned its eye on African and Pacific art this season with an exhibit to commemorate a major gift of 100-plus pieces it recently received from the Neufeld Family Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif. Hollywood film producer Mace Neufeld and his wife, Helen Katz Neufeld (Bryn Mawr, Class of 1953), both then New Yorkers, began collecting pre-Columbian art 40 years ago while still at college. Attracted to the sculptural form such pieces had, they soon turned to African art. Initially they bought slowly, started studying, and built an art library on the subject, while visiting collections of such material here and in Europe.
LIVING
August 9, 2000 | By Edward J. Sozanski, INQUIRER ART CRITIC
For various reasons, African art hasn't been a priority at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but four promised gifts of top-quality African objects have catalyzed a move to create such a display. The gifts have come as part of a campaign to celebrate the museum's 125th anniversary next year with donations of "collection-transforming" gifts of art. The four African gifts consist of two Baule masks, a Dogon door, an Ashanti king's stool, and a Bakota reliquary figure. The masks and the door are promised gifts of trustee Harvey S. Shipley Miller, chairman of the anniversary gift committee, and J. Randall Plummer.
NEWS
September 5, 1993 | By Edward J. Sozanski, INQUIRER ART CRITIC
Since early in this century, Western artists and art historians, following the example of Picasso and Modigliani, have been enthusiastic over the visual complexity and invention of African sculpture. They have been far less considerate of its spiritual aspect, however. The task of placing African sculpture and ritual objects in their proper social context has been left to anthropologists. This is curious, because no art historian would regard the iconography of Christian altarpieces or Dutch still-lifes as being beyond his or her ken. Yet African art has been treated differently.
NEWS
December 10, 1995 | By Victoria Donohoe, INQUIRER ART CRITIC
Some exhibits mark a significant point in the life's journey and achievement of an art collector. The display of 30 traditional tribal masks and sculptures, along with newer pieces and textiles, from the African art collection of Donald Wheeler Wyatt of Winter Park, Fla., is such an exhibit. Nearly a third of Wyatt's holdings are on view at Swarthmore College in the collection's first showing outside Florida. Wyatt, 89, is a professor emeritus of sociology and a lecturer in African studies at Tennessee's Maryville College.
NEWS
May 29, 1995 | By Rhonda Goodman, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
No other shop in Glenside has a pink and turquoise sign. No other has two tall stone sculptures outside the door. But Galerie Hamid isn't like other shops in this Montgomery County community. The huge sign, with its striking pastels, is a landmark for customers who are looking to buy African art. "It's really unusual to find one place that has a high concentration of African art - especially masks," said Roxane Mandel, who lives in Holland and works in Elkins Park. "And what I really like about the store is the variety - just look at the choices," she said.
NEWS
January 5, 1996 | By Pheralyn Dove, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Prolific as a philosopher's observations, and intricately detailed and rhythmic as nature itself, the multimedia works by artist Barthosa Nkurumeh are a synthesis of style and substance that pay respect and homage to his native Nigeria, where he grew up in two Igbo villages. On display at the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, "Home Stories: The Art of Barthosa Nkurumeh" is a sophisticated and technically proficient solo exhibition that is rich in symbolism and broad-based in its universal messages.
NEWS
April 11, 1993 | By Edward J. Sozanski, INQUIRER ART CRITIC
Only two American museums devote themselves exclusively to African art. When I came across that fact recently, I thought that certainly there must be others, and I tried to think of where they were. But no, there really are just two, the National Museum of African Art in Washington, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Museum for African Art here, which is private. (We're not taking about museums that collect and exhibit art made by African Americans, such as the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 10, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
In 1898, the then-relatively unknown black artist Henry Ossawa Tanner exhibited a monumental painting, The Annunciation , in the annual Paris Salon, where it was viewed with enthusiasm by French critics and visiting Philadelphians. The Philadelphia Museum of Art bought the painting in 1899 - its first purchase of work by an African American, and Tanner's first inclusion in the collection of an American museum. More than a century later, The Annunciation has entered the canon of American visual art, and the museum continues to acquire works by African American artists at an ever-increasing pace.
NEWS
November 16, 2014
ISSUE | FAMILIES Lifestyle choice Instead of using prominent space on Page 3 to inform us of anything going on in the world, The Inquirer tells us about a woman with terminal cancer - with whom I do sympathize - who wants children, pursues in-vitro fertilization, has her cousin carry and birth the twins, and states that she will not let cancer make her life choices ("Starting a family against odds," Nov. 9). And when we pro-lifers gather in Washington in the hundreds of thousands to ask for the repeal of a law that would allow more children the chance to be born, we barely get a sentence.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 10, 2014 | By Howard Gensler
"INTERSTELLAR" may have been the movie adults were excited about this past weekend, but once again kids rule the box office! The animated "Big Hero 6" debuted in first place with $56.2 million, according to studio estimates yesterday. Director Christopher Nolan 's brainy space saga, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway as very attractive astronauts, took off in second place with $50 million, estimates said. "Interstellar" opened below Nolan's last film, the mind-bending thriller "Inception," which conjured up $62.8 million when it debuted in 2010.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2014
WE WOULD have guessed it's the food trucks. Why else would Playboy magazine anoint the University of Pennsylvania with the coveted No. 1 ranking in its annual list of the nation's Top Party Schools? The poll is in the mag's October issue, which hits Friday. It's not jealousy that motivates Temple Tattle (a/k/a this reporter) to question how in the world the school on the wrong side of the Schuylkill earned what appears to be such an undeserved accolade. It's sheer incredulity.
NEWS
December 9, 2012 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
Growing up in North Philadelphia in the 1930s, Robert Crowder began drumming on wooden crates and other found objects. He quickly grasped the fundamentals of drumming, but he wanted to learn more about this seminal African art form. Inspired by acclaimed percussionists from around the world, such as Ladji Camara of Guinea, Chano Pozo and Desi Arnaz of Cuba, and Saka Acquaye of Ghana, Mr. Crowder dedicated his life to African drumming, leaving a vast legacy in Philadelphia. Mr. Crowder, 82, who founded a dance and drum ensemble and played with many renowned musicians, including saxophonist John Coltrane and pianist McCoy Tyner, died Friday, Nov. 30, of a stroke at his West Philadelphia home.
NEWS
May 14, 2012 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
When the Barnes Foundation opens its doors to the public Saturday, it not only will introduce visitors to a new gallery on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway; it could well serve as a gateway to Philadelphia's mélange of museums, galleries, art schools, historic sites, and gardens. Or maybe not. Aware of the intense interest focused on the foundation's Philadelphia debut - the climax of nearly a quarter-century of hyper-publicity and controversy swirling around the fate of Albert C. Barnes' extraordinary collection of modernist artworks - cultural and tourism officials have been considering how to transform the relocation of an art collection into a regional bonanza.
NEWS
January 15, 2012 | By Edward J. Sozanski, Contributing Art Critic
Nick Cave's art is vivacious, exciting, and transformative. Its unique sensibility emerges from the convergence of a number of aesthetic languages - African art, painting, fashion design, textile patterning and textures, dance, and, most identifiably, sculpture. The 15 "soundsuits" that he's showing at the Fabric Workshop and Museum evoke all of these genres, and yet they aren't simple extensions of any of them. Cave doesn't disguise his sources, but he blends them so skillfully that the results are completely sui generis.
NEWS
October 16, 2011 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
For more than four decades, Sande Webster has been a torch on the Philadelphia art scene. First at Locust Street Gallery, founded by Webster and three partners, then on her own, she has been a force for the commercial exhibition of photography, ceramics, and textiles as art, and - perhaps most notably - has provided an uninterrupted outlet for the work of African American artists. After 42 years running a gallery here, through the recessions of the early 1980s, the early 1990s, and the early 2000s, Webster is finally closing.
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