Monthly Book Drawing - Rand African Art

January 2007

The winner of this book for the January drawing was: Jeffrey Hood from Tennessee

January's book drawing is for a visually fantastic book called "
Vanishing Africa: A Photographer' s Journey". I got
this book as a gift for the holidays and loved it so much that I ordered a copy to give away in a book drawing.

The book manages to transport you into a different reality through the wonderful photos contained in it. As I turned
each page my mind took a step back and wondered about the daily lives and realities of the various cultures in the
remote areas of Africa that were photographed in this book. It's truly awe inspiring!

In the past when I have announced book drawings I directed people to my
Recommended Reading page on my site
so they could find out more information about the book, and they could enter the book drawing directly from my
website. I had some issues with my Recommended Reading page on my website and had to remove everything
from it and just haven't had the time to fully rebuild it again, it's a project for a rainy, or in my case, snowy day that I
plan to work on soon.

Below is a little information about the book.
Vanishing Africa: A Photographer' s Journey (Hardcover)
by Gianni Giansanti, Paolo Novaresio

Book Description

A dead branch of the Rift Valley, worn hills and plains beaten by the relentless sun, this is the region that spreads around the valley of the Omo
River. The wild and remote southern region of Ethiopia only appeared on maps little over a century ago when the first European explorers
discovered there a mosaic of ethnic groups. These are peoples that have remained isolated for centuries and that have retained their cultures
and customs intact to the present day-peoples like the Surma, Mursi, Karo and many more. By examining a region in the heart of the Black
Continent, the book attempts to trace the roots of remotest Africa: the cradle of man, where ancestral bonds with nature still exist. By means of
his camera and his pen, in this book the authors have encapsulated long years of study of the peoples and ethnic groups of this continent, in
search of vanishing Africa.

About the Author

Gianni Giansanti began his professional career in 1978. Approached by the Sygma agency in 1981, he documented the coup d'état in Turkey
and performed assignments in Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, Libya, Lebanon, Senegal, Poland, Greece, and Yugoslavia. In 1988, a
photographic essay on the private life of Pope John Paul II in the Vatican won first prize from the World Press.

Paolo Novaresio graduated in contemporary history and for more than twenty years has been a full-time traveler. After a series of trips around
the world, he has devoted his time entirely to Africa. Recently he has concentrated his research in Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.
He lives and works in Turin, Nairobi, and Johannesburg.

Hardcover: 504 pages Publisher: White Star; Bk & DVD edition (November 27, 2004) Language: English ISBN-10: 8854400068 ISBN-13:
978-8854400061 Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 10 x 1.6 inches Shipping Weight: 6.20 pounds

Review of the book from an reader Daniel Raphael:
"The photographs are everything, showing African villagers much as they have lived for the past century. This is not modern Africa, but its last
remaining tribal cultures completely tied to the rhythms and livelihood of stoop farming, animal husbandry, and tribal warfare. The people are
often beautiful, their adornments alternately colorful and extreme (those lip disks make me wince).

At the time of this review, the Omo valley, in which these tribes are located, is threatened by flooding; this acts as a commentary on the reality of
these peoples' lives. It is not idyllic or problem-free; also noted is the presence of Kalashnikov automatic rifles in at least one tribe of notable
warriors. That this should be the only visible presence of modernity in this primitive locale, is a sobering comment upon what "progress" has
brought to "backward" people.

Many of the photographs are close-ups of individual faces and of small groups. The book is entirely desirable for this alone. Soon, these scenes
will only exist in a book, as the final transition to contemporary life inevitably presses itself upon these tribes."

Additional reviews can be found on for this book by
clicking here.


The winner of this book for the January drawing is: Jeffrey Hood from Tennessee
In January of 2007 I posted a message in the African Arts and Culture Discussion Group that I was going to start
doing monthly book drawings that would be announced in the discussion group, and also on the main page of my
website.  My goal this year is to do a book drawing on a monthly basis, instead of a sporadic basis like I have done
in the past. Previously I have given away about a dozen books that I have found personally enjoyable.

In July of this year I will also give away a 1 year subscription to the African Arts publication in celebration of it's 40th
year of being published, and me turning 40 this year on July 19th.
________________________________________________________________________________________'s already July (hard to believe) so this month it isn't a book drawing, it's a drawing for a 1 year
subscription to the African Arts publication!
Susan Vogel makes a wonderful and insightful introduction in the beginning of this book. Robert and Nancy Nooter each share their story
in a brief essay about how they started collecting, and what drives their passion for African art. The introduction and the essays alone
make the book worth it, but on the following pages it showcases the people that were part of the exhibition and it describes how they
started collecting and gives examples from their collections that were in the exhibition.

The winner of the FEBRUARY book drawing is: Veronique "Vero" Martelliere

The FEBRUARY 2007 book was:

"The Art of Collecting African Art" from the Center for African Art
Introduction by Susan Vogel - Essays by Robert and Nancy Nooter

Paperback: 64 pages. 49 black & white photographs. Catalogue of an exhibition.
Publisher: Museum for African Art (May 1988)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0961458798

Featuring objects and stories from the collections of:
Ernst Anspach
John and Nicole Dintendass
Jean and Noble Endicott
George and Gail Feher
Gaston T. deHavenon and Family
Brian and Diane Leyden
Daniel and Marian Malcom
Franklin and Shirley Williams
Editorial Reviews

Book Description
African Forms: Art And Rituals illuminates an aspect of African art that has largely been neglected by other
books. African sculptures and art are difficult to decipher because they are more than tokens of "art for art's
sake." African art is based on religious and philosophical values. It is created not just for the patron but for the
entire community, using a language of form for the society to understand what can't otherwise be put into words.
Through an enlightening analysis of some of the continent's most emblematic artifacts, this book decodes
African art by putting it in the context of the broader culture. It is thematically organized around key motifs to help
you fully understand African art. With insightful text and stunning color photographs, African Forms: Art And
Rituals is essential for art collectors and for all lovers of African art and culture.

Hardcover: 200 pages
Publisher: Assouline (October 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 2843232910
ISBN-13: 978-2843232916
Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 9.7 x 1.2 inches

The winner of the MARCH book drawing was: Peter Webb from Australia
The book for the March 2007 book drawing was: African Forms: Art and Rituals, by Laure Meyer
This book was kindly donated for the drawing by Dr. Jeffrey Geller
While I was in Boston this month Bobbi Hamill set up a meeting with Christraud Geary who is the curator of African and Oceanic art at the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston. I had the opportunity to talk with her a little bit about the Boston MFA's African art collection and this new exhibition. I didn't have
an opportunity to view the exhibition that this book is a companion to, but hope to do that once I move out to Boston in June.
exhibition runs from Monday, March 26, 2007 - Sunday, September 2, 2007.

Before I talked to her I was not aware that the Boston MFA published a book that accompanied the exhibition.
It's a
wonderful book richly illustrated with great photos and lots of information.

Below is some text from the Boston MFA website about the book and the exhibition:
"This comprehensive study of how African and Oceanic arts were brought to Europe and the United States in the late twentieth century uses the
esteemed Geneviève McMillan Collection as a prism to investigate collecting strategies as they intersect with the political conditions of colonialism
and independence, and the developing study of African and Oceanic arts. The objects within include sculpture, textiles and musical
instruments--some of which were collected in the field, others of which passed through hubs of the international art trade like Paris and Brussels,
and still others of which arrived with African "runners," who helped locate objects for sale. As the market expanded, an increasing number of object
types joined the canon of what constituted art, and artists in Africa and the Pacific began producing replicas and new types--opening a whole new
debate about the objects' authenticity. This valuable tome explores this debate and the social, political and commercial forces underlying it."

About the exhibition:
"For over sixty years, Mrs. Geneviève McMillan, a Cambridge resident, has collected African and Oceanic art, a lifelong passion that began when
she was student in Paris during World War II. The more than one hundred objects in this exhibition, ranging from sculptures to textiles to musical
instruments, moved through many hands: some were collected in the field by their future owners (including Mrs. McMillan herself); others passed
through Paris, Brussels, and New York, hubs of the international art trade; and still others arrived directly in Cambridge with African merchants who
helped locate objects for sale. African objects featured in this exhibition include an ancient reliquary figure made by artists of the Kota peoples in
Gabon, two important masks from the Yaka peoples in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a terracotta vessel from the Asante peoples in
Ghana. Among the works from Oceania are a bark cloth mask from the Baining peoples who live on island of New Britain, and a model boat from the
Solomon Islands.

This exhibition highlights not only the beauty and function of these works, but also traces their voyages and focuses on the social, political, and
commercial forces that accompanied collecting in the second half of the twentieth century. In considering these issues, the exhibition evokes the
choices of a pioneering collector and casts light on the more general processes of producing, interpreting, and collecting African and Oceanic
artworks in the modern world. It also celebrates Mrs. McMillan's generous gift of the works on display and many others to the Museum."

Book information:
9" x 10".
250 pages.
120 color and 35 black and white illustrations.

The winner of the APRIL book drawing was: Paul Nieuwenhuysen from Belgium

The book for the APRIL 2007 book drawing was:

Material Journeys: Collecting African And Oceanic Art, 1945-2000
Selections from the Geneviève McMillan Collection
Essays by Christraud M. Geary and Stephanie Xatart

This book was kindly donated for the drawing by Bobbi and Tim Hamill (Hamill Gallery Boston)

MAY and JUNE book drawing

With the preparations for my move to Boston and everything else going on in May I didn't get around to doing a
book drawing in May. Now it's already the 24th of June and I haven't done a book drawing in June yet either so I
thought I'd just do both of them at once.

Life has been a roller coaster the past couple of months, well, actually more than the past couple of months, but
especially the past couple of months. May was a busy month filled with packing, more packing, and then more
packing. Mixed in was a going away party and trying to see friends and relatives before I left Denver at the end of
the month.

I arrived in Boston, after a 10 day trip to Europe and a 3 day long drive across the US, in the middle of June and I'm
just starting to get back on top of things again and I thought I'd start off with getting caught up on the book drawings
from the past 2 months. When I was in Europe I got to visit the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and attended
BRUNEAF (Brussels non European Art Fair) as well as go to the Mestach exhibition in Brussels. I took hundreds of
photos in total and as soon as I get a little more caught up I'll share them with people on my website.

The books for the combined May/June book drawings are:

"Crowning Achievements: African Arts of Dressing the Head"
by Peter Adler and Nicholas Barnard (Paperback - Oct 1995)

African Majesty: The Textile Art of the Ashanti and Ewe"
by Mary Jo Arnoldi, Christine Mullen Kreamer, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Los Angeles Fowler Museum of Cultural history - University of
California (Paperback - Jan 1995)

*Both of these books were kindly donated for the drawings by Bobbi and Tim Hamill (Hamill Gallery of African Art - Boston)
Actually Bobbi and Tim made a very nice donation of several different books that will support the book drawings through the end of the year.
I sincerely appreciate this nice and generous gesture on their part.
Crowning Achievements: African Arts of Dressing the Head
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: University of California Los Angeles, Fowler (January 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0930741439
ISBN-13: 978-0930741433
Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 9.7 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds

It's a fascinating book!
I recently had the pleasure of going to the exhibition "
Headdresses" at the Tervuren Museum outside of Brussels. It was a great exhibition and very
educational for me since I know very little about headdresses from various cultures. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalog but to be honest with
you I really enjoyed the book "Crowning Achievements" much better than the book that accompanied the Tervuren Museum exhibition. Both the
exhibition at the Tervuren Museum and the Crowning Achievements book have inspired a new passion for African headdresses for me!
African Majesty: The Textile Art of the Ashanti and Ewe
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Thames & Hudson; Reprint edition
(October 1995)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 050027844X
ISBN-13: 978-0500278444
Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds

Review below by Marie Waterman (West Virginia)

"African Majesty is the historical study of the weaving practiced by two separate West African tribes. Inhabiting the present day countries of Ghana and
Togo, the weaving traditions of the Ashanti and Ewe have been traced from the writings of the European explorers of the 15th century. Their seemingly
simple process is called "strip weaving". Strip weaving is the art of hand weaving narrow(3"-5")strips which are later hand sewn together into larger pieces
to make the wearing cloth of both men and women. Intensely laborious but extremely portable, these combined strips are referred to in the West as
"kente" cloth, a mixture of color and pattern which has been imitated in fabric prints. The team of Adler and Barnard, a textile scholar and a writer, has
produced a magnificent collaboration which showcases this art. 131 color illustrations,including many full page plates, reveal the native use of intricate
patterning and a wide range of colors. Each example is numbered and the patterns contained therein are named by their tribal name, translation,
explanation of uses by particular segments of society and their place of origin. The pictured cloths are really incredible. Before reading this book I had
dismissed this type of cloth as a hodgepodge of simple plain weave thrown together like a crazy quilt. Seeing the multitude of patterns and reading about
the fine silk and cotton yarns employed has given me an appreciation for this painstaking craft. Barnard and Adler have compiled a wonderful book,
enhanced by maps of the region, a glossary of African terms and a bibliography. Though even in the face of Western influence the simple everyday strip
cloth material continues to be purchased and worn, it is the specially commissioned designs which are disappearing. Hopefully this book will attract a wide
audience and stimulate demand by private collectors for this awesome handweaving. "

You can also see inside the book on's page for this book by
CLICKING HERE, then click on the 'look inside this book' link.


The winner of the book directly below is:
Robert Fielder (
Crowning Achievements: African Arts of Dressing the Head"
by Peter Adler and Nicholas Barnard (Paperback - Oct 1995)

The winner of the book directly below is:
Javier Sandoval, Spain
African Majesty: The Textile Art of the Ashanti and Ewe"
by Mary Jo Arnoldi, Christine Mullen Kreamer, Christine Mullen Kreamer, and Los Angeles Fowler Museum of Cultural history - University of California
(Paperback - Jan 1995)

Marla C. Berns, Allen F. Roberts, Mary Nooter Roberts and Doran H. Ross,

"African Arts is devoted to the plastic and graphic arts of Africa, broadly
defined to encompass sculpture in wood, metal, ceramic, ivory, and stone,
and less familiar work in fiber, hide, mud, and other materials. Included in
this mandate are architecture, arts of personal adornment, contemporary
fine and popular arts, and the arts of the Africa diaspora."

African Arts is published quarterly by the James S. Coleman African
Studies Center, UCLA, and distributed by The MIT Press.
African Arts publication turns 40 this year and so do I this month on July 19th.

Coincidence? Well, even if it is some strange coincidence, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to give away a 1 year subscription to
this wonderful publication.

When I first started collecting and tried to learn about African art I had a select few books that I started out with to learn from. In the
library of my old mentor was an encyclopedic collection of African Arts publications and once I found out about them I would put them
all on the floor and go through them one by one finding all of the ones with articles that were interesting to me at the time. Each time I
would do this there were articles that I revisited and ones that I hadn't looked at previously that now grabbed my attention.

Over the years I have built up my own fairly encyclopedic collection (still missing a few issues) of African Arts publications and just
about once a month I'll get them all out, set them on the floor and go through every one of them looking for articles that interest me now
or go through my index of the articles to locate a specific issue that has an article on a specific topic I'm trying to research at the time.
They continue to be a great resource for me and I'm sure will continue to be one for the future as they continue to publish articles that
are culture and object specific as well as venturing into the current and future state of African art.

In the first quarterly issue of 2007 (Spring 2007, Vol. 40, No. 1, Pages 1-5), Herbert M. Cole wrote a very nice article entitled "Forty
Years of African Arts" and below is an excerpt from the first paragraph of the article.

Forty Years of African Arts
by Herbert M. Cole

"Celebrate African Arts, now entering into its fortieth year! Launched ambitiously in 1967,
pledging a bilingual survey of all the traditional and contemporary arts—sculpture,
painting, architecture, poetry and other literature, theater, and dance—it made good on the
French/English promise for only three years, yet continued its broad arts coverage into the
1970s. The coverage of nonvisual arts became sporadic between 1975 and 1978, with only
occasional articles on them thereafter. Since the late 1970s, though, this journal has covered
a plethora of African and Africa-related subjects within the broad purview of visual,
performance, and ritual culture: archaeological, early, modern, and contemporary. In fact,
it has served to chronicle, in substantial detail and oft en with fine color illustrations, the
progress as well as the state of the African arts field since the late 1960s. Thirty-nine volumes
comprising 156 issues stretch to nearly four feet of shelf space as I write.

Other statistics tell more:
19,565 photographs (including objects in advertisements)
1,092 articles
624 books reviewed
468 exhibitions reviewed
16 private US collections highlighted
54 museum collections showcased
35 special issues on a single topic, 7 more as tributes"

The article continues for a total of 5 pages and below is the end of the article...

"In the years since this publication first appeared in 1967 we
have learned that change in African arts, plus invention and creativity, are all endemic and
vital, and that they always have been. It is up to the readers of African Arts to ensure that it
will survive to chronicle what is now and continues to be happening, and changing, in the
arts of the vast African continent (and its diasporas), as well as to examine critically earlier
art forms and the writing on them."

Herbert M. Cole
Herbert Cole is emeritus professor of art history at UC Santa Barbara. His major publications include Icons: Ideals and Power in the Art of Africa,
1989; Igbo Arts: Community and Cosmos, 1984 (with C.C. Aniakor) and The Arts of Ghana (with Doran H. Ross), 1977


**CLICK HERE to enter the drawing for the 1 year subscription to AFRICAN ARTS**

or send me an email - with a subject of "African Arts drawing"

I will do the drawings for the subscription on Monday August 20th and announce the winners in the
African Arts and Culture online
discussion group and also on my website.