African Art in the Munich State Museum of Ethnology

African Art in the Munich State Museum of Ethnology

Kraftfigur aus der Yombe-Region, Anonymus, Dem. Rep. Kongo, 2.Hälfte 19. Jhd.

In 19th century Europe, African works of art were still seen, at best, as curiosities. It was the German explorer Leo Frobenius, who at the end of the century was one of the first to recognise the aesthetic appeal of African wood-carvings. His discovery was closely followed by that of the artists of the avant-garde. ..


Portrait eines Mannes aus Shirati (heutiges Tansania), ca. 1910. Fotograf: Dr. Robert Lohmeyer. Bildarchiv SMfV

In Munich, for example, Kandinsky, Macke and Marc were regular visitors to the Völkerkunde-Museum (Museum of Ethnology) and were clearly inspired by the African exhibits. It took several decades before the exceptional creations of traditional African art were able to find their place in the Western world of art. Now, at last, they are given full respect in their own right on the global stage. The excellent craftmanship of the artists is highly admired and the innovative design, often achieved through the abstraction and reduction of form, gives rise to great fascination.



Mein Afrika. Die Sammlung Fritz Koen…


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