Presents the best of the collection of African art and artefacts held by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The African art collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, offers a portal into the life and politics of a large and complex continent with a wealth of history and culture. The highlighted works in this volume have been selected to illuminate different societies and periods, and to offer an introduction to traditions within the wider field of African art. They are presented through the framework of their original contexts: refined bronze sculptures made for royal palaces, spiritual figures powerfully rendered in wood or stone for shrines, vibrant luxury textiles, masks for public celebrations, art made for export, and trenchant contemporary photography intended for global art markets. By examining the places where these objects were first encountered by viewers – the palaces of Mangbetu kings, the busy streets of Lagos, or a gallery in London – vivid stories emerge about who made, paid for, used and enjoyed these artworks. Taken together, they evoke the brilliance and variety of artistic traditions across a vast continent.