Masterpieces of Nigerian Art

Chinazor Onianwah, 21 jul. 2014 - 245 pagina's

The Federal Republic of Nigeria maintains a rich artistic legacy that is more than two thousand years old. As such, it provides some interesting counterpoints to Western art history. Nigeria's ancient Nok art, for example, predated the golden age of Greece, and the exquisite bronzes of lgbo Ukwu (9th-10th C), Ife (12th-15th C), and Benin (15th-19th C) compare favorably to European traditions.†

Furthermore, the art of Benin thrived under the patronage of a single, unbroken dynasty during a time when many European governments rose and fell.Yet, for many reasons, the Western world would not recognize this artistic heritage until modern times. In this volume, Ekpo Eyo explains the prirnitivist viewpoint that once dominated the Western perception of African art and recalls the efforts of certain more open-minded individuals from Nigeria's colonial past who, in their efforts to collect, preserve, and present important sculptures and other artworks, were instrumental in founding the country's first museums. Their successor, today's National Commission for Museums and Monuments, has collected many additional works from their original settings, placing them in the limelight of the world through publications and museum exhibitions, to which the author has contributed much throughout his career. Eyo therefore discusses Nigerian art in the broader context of the world's art history, arguing that the art of Nigeria is fundamentally a testament to universal human creativity. From Shrines to Showcases: Masterpieces of Nigerian Art includes examples selected from all major regions of the country, spanning the distant past to the modern age, which are to be considered amongst the greatest artistic achievements of humanity.


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Over de auteur (2014)

Professor Ekpo Okpo Eyo OFR, PhD, (July 28, 1931-May 28, 2011) was an eminent archaeologist, anthropologist, and professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

He was the first and only Nigerian Director of the Federal Department of Antiquities (1968 – 1979); first Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments (1979 – 1986); Professor of African Arts and Archaeology at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland USA (1986 – 2006) He published several works; his recent book, "From Shrines to Showcases: Masterpieces of Nigerian Art" was published in 2010 by the Federal Ministry of Information and Communication, Abuja. His books also include Two Thousand Years of Nigerian Art and with Frank Willet, co-authored Treasures of Ancient Nigeria: A Legacy of Two Thousand Years. Over the past few years, he completed a manuscript (unpublished to date) on the royal arts of Owo, a major focus of his research.†

Professor Eyo in his lifetime served as the Vice President of the Advisory Council of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and of UNESCO’s Committee on the creation of the Convention on The Illicit Transfer of Cultural Property (1970) and the Preservation of World Cultural Property (1974). He was a trustee of the Leakey Foundation for Research into the origins of man.†

He was honored by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in 1980 at its meeting in Mexico as a Fellow. In 1980 the Federal Government of Nigeria decorated him with the national award of Officer of Federal Republic (OFR). In 1984, Professor Eyo was named Smithsonian Regency Fellow and in 2004 the Art Council of African Studies Association (ACASA) presented him with a Leadership Award at the 13th Triennial Symposium on African Art at Harvard University.

Professor Eyo was a doyen and an institution in Nigerian culture. He spent a lifetime promoting knowledge surrounding the sophisticated culture of early Nigerian peoples. In the international world of museums, he was a giant and a distinct point of reference. In life, he was an engaging personality, a fearless visionary and a gentleman. He passionately loved his family and friends, a man of integrity, loyal and true to the end.†

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