Monday, April 12, 2010

Detroit Institute of Arts mounts a compelling African art show

This is one in a series of blog messages about tribal art, including African art, presented by Aboriginals: Art of the First Person, proprietors of a web site including African tribal art at

We learned of a new exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts, "
Through African Eyes", from a recent review in the Detroit Free Press. The show opens April 18, 2010.

The reviewer, Mark Stryker, comments on the sensitivity of the curator, Nii Quarcoopome, in presenting the character of African art as it was influenced by Western cultural and European colonialism. We recommend a read of the review to you, which is available by going to and searching for DIA.

He writes, "Check your preconceptions with your coat
. "Through African Eyes" examines the way African artists portrayed Europeans and cultural exchange from 1500 to the present, but the show dispenses with a monolithic view of Africa, noble-savage clichés and the politically correct drumbeat of the evil European "other." "

As lovers of African tribal art ourselves, we regret we will not be able to visit Detroit (my former hometown) to see the show. Fortunately, the Free Press includes a photo gallery displaying some of the most impressive objects. (Click on Photo Gallery).

An example is this: -"Chair with Four Felines (ChiefÕs Throne)." Unknown artist, Fon culture, Republic of Benin, before 1950; Wood. From the collection of Menil Collection
(Detroit Institute of Arts)"

If you are in or near Detroit, be sure to see this show before it closes Sunday, August 8, 2010. If you are unable to get there, check out the Detroit Free Press article and the information at

Aboriginals Gallery also hosts web sites at, featuring Zuni and other Native American carvings,, featuring hand-made Native American jewelry, and, featuring authentic Native American and Pueblo pottery. You are invited to visit one or all of them to learn more about the fascinating world of tribal art.

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