Nigerian Images
Nigerian Images
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  • ISBN-13: 9780853315667
  • ISBN: 0853315663
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited


Fagg, William B.


When British colonial pioneers first drew the frontiers of what was to become modern Nigeria, they unwittingly defined an area in which were found nearly all the materials on which our understanding of African art history is based. Of the discovered works of African sculpture that are more than a century old, at least ninety per cent are Nigerian, and it is in Nigeria alone that we can trace the history of tribal art during more than 2,000 years.Nigerian Images was first published over a quarter of a century ago and rapidly achieved the status of a classic. It consists of a magnificent compilation of photographs illustrating this rich and brilliantly varied art history, together with an interpretation of it by a distinguished ethnographer and art historian. In superb plates and penetrating historical analysis, Nigerian Images reveals the complexity and richness of tribal art forms and relates them to the cultural, philosophical, and political world in which they were created.The first part of the text, illustrated by 77 plates - of both rare, little-known pieces and some of the classic heads that have become famous the world over - considers Nigerian art prior to about 1850. European miners first began to mine tin in Nigeria early in this century, but it was not until some forty years later that it was realized that priceless works of art were being crushed and discarded every day in the spoil heaps around the mines. These were primarily terracottas from the Nok culture - magnificent figures dating from about 500 BC to AD 200, and they are the starting point for the author's survey. There follows an analysis of Ife terracottas a thousand years later and the famous Benin bronzes.In the second part of the book, illustrated with 68 plates, William Fagg discusses Nigerian art since about 1850, including the remarkable beauty of the Yoruba wood carvings, the masks of the Ibibio and Mama, and the ivories, drums, and other pieces from many other tribes as well, vigorously rejecting the view that it has shown any decline in vitality, power, or conceptual originality from the earlier works.William Fagg's text provides not only an invaluable introduction to the development of tribal arts, but many new and important interpretations and attributions. To his uniquely authoritative textual analysis, Herbert List brings, in 144 remarkable photographs, the intense poetic feeling and acute sense of form that made him an artist of international renown.Fagg, William B. is the author of 'Nigerian Images' with ISBN 9780853315667 and ISBN 0853315663.

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