African art (II)

book cover "Visual century - South African art in context"Together with Studium Generale Leiden and the University of Amsterdam, the African Studies Centre Leiden is organizing a lecture series on African a rt and literature. Renowned authors and art scientists will speak over eight Wednesday evenings. The Library, Documentation and Information Department of the African Studies Centre Leiden has compiled this web dossier on African art to coincide with the lectures.
The dossier is based on the ASCL Library's collection and contains authoritative works on African art as well as recent publications from the last five years. Each title links directly to the corresponding record in the online catalogue, which provides details about each title and abstracts of articles and edited works. The introduction by Dr Harrie Leyten is followed by titles on classic and modern African art and illicit trade in cultural property. The dossier concludes with a selection of web resources on African art.

  1. Introduction
  2. African art - authoritative works
  3. Classic African art (2010-)
  4. Modern and contemporary African art (2010-)
  5. Illicit trade in cultural property
  6. Selected web resources

For further information, please email us at or phone: +31 (0)71 5273354

1. Introduction

African art: About a name
As modern African art differs so much from the art which predates it, there was need for a name to distinguish between them. But, what should we call the art that existed in Africa prior to modern art (and which still exists to a certain degree)? The name used most frequently is: primitive art. However, the term, coined in the nineteenth century by travellers to Africa, is becoming increasingly unpopular, as it is considered discriminating and derogatory. The term traditional art is incorrect, as it suggests that ‘tradition’ is a stable, static concept, and that African societies in the past have not experienced change or development. Another common name is: tribal art. The word tribe was introduced to Africa by the colonial authorities in order to facilitate their administrative management of ethnic groups. While it may have served certain administrative purposes, it has not been a satisfactory name in terms of distinguishing between peoples who have different languages and cultures, yet are each others’ neighbours and interact with each other. Perhaps a more suitable name for this type of art is: classic African art. The word ‘classic’ refers to a work of art of recognized and established value. Today, classic African art is recognized everywhere as world art and has a proven value, both aesthetically and as treasured collectors’ items.   

The confusion about the names is just one of a number of misunderstandings and stereotypes that originated in the nineteenth century and which have persisted deep into the twentieth century: Africans have been described as uncivilized, exotic, sensual, primitive and wild. (Nederveen Pieterse 1992) Missionaries spoke of African religions as pagan and called their religious objects fetishes. Anthropologists assumed that for Africans all objects were imbued with living souls: the theory of animism. (Leyten 2015)
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a number of European artists (among them Picasso, Matisse, Derain and De Vlaminck) ‘discovered’ African masks and statues. They saw them as magical objects, as intermediaries between humans and the mysterious forces of evil, as tools that enabled man to free himself from all that threatened his existence; but, primarily, they saw them as objects that inspired them to create new artistic forms (cubism, ‘fauvism’ (Paudrat 1984)).

In the first decades of the twentieth century, expeditions into the African hinterland were organized, specifically to study and collect art: well known among them are those by Leo Frobenius (Congo and Nigeria) (Kuba a.o. 2010), and Emil Torday (Congo).
From the 1930s onwards, scholars, anthropologists, ethnographers and art historians, began to do fieldwork in Africa. Melville Herskovits conducted fieldwork among the Fon in Dahomey ( present day Bénin), Marcel Griaule among the Dogon of Mali, and Hans Himmelheber among Guro and Baule in Ivory Coast. Their fieldwork was halted by the Second World War. William Fagg, keeper of the Africa Department of the British Museum, has probably been the greatest stimulus for the appreciation of classic African art in the western world. All of them have published about their research. Much later, after the independence of African countries, beginning in the 1960s, a new generation of European scholars emerged. They concentrated on a specific region, ethnic group or theme, and remained involved with it for many years. British scholars were especially active in Nigeria: John Henry Drewal (Yoruba), John Boston (Igbo), Kevin Carrol (Yoruba Religious carving), Philip Dark (Benin), Robin Horton (Kalabari), Keith Nicklin (Oron), C. Thurstan Shaw (archaeology of Igbo-Ukwu), William Bascom (Ifa Divination), and Frank Willet (Ife). Their publications form the starting point for every study of Nigerian art and culture. (For an overview see: Susan Vogel (1991)).
Soon after, the study of African art was taken up by Africans of different scholarly disciplines. Among them are: Kyerematen, A.A.Y. (1964),  Ekpo Eyo (1977), Abiodun (1980), Jegede, Dele (1983), Salih M.Hassan (a.o. 2013), and Lawal (2012).

Books on classic African Art
Generally speaking, books on classic African art can be divided into three categories:

  1. Publications on African art of a general nature, often entitled African Art. They try to give a geographical overview of ‘tribes and styles’. This category has been very popular in the past decades. Well known authors are: Elsy Leuzinger, Joseph Cornet, Jacqueline Delange, William Fagg, and Frank Willett. The format of these books makes the contents necessarily superficial. The limited number of pages made it impossible to do justice to the cultural wealth of African countries. Only one or two art objects  relating to each ‘tribe’ or ‘style’ could be published. Thus, it narrowed the cultural heritage of a people down to a few arbitrary items.
  2. Publications on themes within classic African art, such as architecture, textiles, symbols of chieftaincy, ornaments, weapons, religious objects, weights (e.g. gold weights) and others. Many of these books have a thorough scholarly value, include high quality photographs, and are of interest to fellow academics and laypeople with an aesthetic taste.
  3. More recently, publications on African art and cultures appear in monographs. They tend to concentrate on a particular culture or ethnic group, base themselves on fieldwork, and publish a much wider range of objects, both art objects and household objects, in their social, cultural or religious context. They also discuss the artists themselves, which is a new trend, as previously African art was considered to be anonymous. Some examples are: Joseph Cornet on the Kuba,  Francois Neyt on the Luba, Mary Nooter Roberts and Allen Roberts on the Luba, Eberhard Fischer on the Guro, Louis Perrois on the Fang, Susan Vogel on the Baule, Marie-Louise Bastin on the Tsokwe, Daniel Biebuick on the Lega, Jean-Paul Colleyn on the Bamana, Ruth Philips on the Mende, and Rogier Bedaux on the Dogon.

Illicit traffic in cultural property
With the spectacular growth in interest in classic African art, and the increase in sales of this art, an illegal market for precious objects of African art developed. Archaeological finds, such as those from the Nok culture (Nigeria) and Djenne (Mali) fetch high prices in the western world. In 1970, UNESCO promulgated the Convention for the protection of cultural heritage. It was designed to stop the illicit trafficking of cultural goods. (ICOM 2000; Leyten 1995; Renfrew 2000, Van Beurden 2001, 2012; Panella 2010) Notwithstanding fierce opposition by art dealers and collectors, an increasing number of nations has ratified the convention in recent years. The return of stolen objects to Africa happens rarely. 

Modern and contemporary African art
Modern art in Africa had a slow start. If the colonial powers showed an interest in art and the training of artists at all, they taught talented African youngsters in European art and art history at academic institutions, such as Kampala, Khartoum and Zaria.
Informal training was given by some colonial officers or European businessmen, sometimes at home. One of them was Pierre Romain Desfosses, a retired French navy officer who settled in Elisabethville (Lubumbashi) in 1944; another was Pierre Lods who, in 1950, started the Poto-Poto workshop in Brazzaville (Greani 2012). In 1957, Frank McEwen, director of the newly opened National Gallery in Salisbury (Harare) encouraged his personnel to take up painting, while tobacco farmer Tom Blomefield founded a sculptors’ community at Tengenenge (Zimbabwe) (Leyten 1994). After Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Ulli Beier organized summer schools at Oshogbo, which produced a good number of successful artists (Probst 2011). Among them are Twins Seven Seven (Glassie 2010), Buraimoh, Olatunde, and Ogundele. Throughout Africa, artists surfaced  without formal or informal training, who were able to develop their own style and gain national and international recognition. Among them are Valente Malangatana (Mozambique), Middle Art (Nigeria) and Chéri Samba (Congo, Zaire). (Leyten a.o. 1980; Mount 1973; Willett 2003; Woets 2011).

Contemporary African art
From the 1980s onwards, African art became mainstream in the western world. Increasingly, museums opted for large and well published exhibitions of contemporary African art. The first international boost was given by Hubert Martin’s exhibition Les magiciens de la terre in Paris, in 1989, and its accompanying catalogue. This was soon followed by André Magnin’s exhibition Africa now in 1991, which was shown in several countries. (Magnin 1991) 
André Magnin published his Contemporary Art of Africa in 1996, producing an impressive list of contemporary African artists. (Magnin 1996) .
A major exhibition curated by an African, Simon Njani, was Afrika Remix, which was shown in several western countries in 2004-2005. (Njani 2004). The Museum Rietberg organized a travelling exhibition of classic art from the Ivory Coast in 2014 (Fischer a.o. 2014).

The Nigerian art historian and professor of African art, Okwui Enwezor, became the organizer of Documenta 11 in 2002, and the Venice Biennale in 2015. (Enwezor 2002).

Dr Harrie Leyten

2. African art - authoritative works

Ibrahim El-Salahi : a visionary modernist / Salah M. Hassan, Sarah Adams & Ibrahim El Salahi. - London : Tate, 2013

Yoruba / Babatunde Lawal. - Milan : 5 Continents, 2012. - (Visions of Africa)

"What is this?" : framing Ghanaian art from the colonial encounter to the present What is this? : framing Ghanaian art from the colonial encounter to the present / Rhoda Woets. - Amsterdam : Vrije Universiteit, 2011. - (Dissertation series / Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam)

Osogbo and the art of heritage / Peter Probst. - Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press, 2011. - (African expressive cultures)

Nigeria 100 years ago : through the eyes of Leo Frobenius and his expedition team / Richard Kuba & Musa O. Hambolu / Universität Frankfurt am Main. Frobenius-Institut;Nigeria. National Commission for Museums and Monuments. - Frankfurt/Main : Frobenius Institute at the Goethe University, 2010

Prince Twins Seven-Seven : his art, his life in Nigeria, his exile in America / Henry Glassie & Seven Seven Twins. - Bloomington, Ind : Indiana University Press, 2010

Contemporary African art since 1980 / Okwui Enwezor & Chika Okeke-Agulu. - [Bologna] : Damiani, 2009book cover "contemporary African art since 1980"

Luba / Mary Nooter Roberts & Allen F. Roberts. - Milan [etc.] : 5 Continents [etc.], 2007. - (Visions of Africa)

Africa remix : contemporary art of a continent / Simon Njami with essays by Lucy Duran ... [et al.]. - London : Hayward Gallery Publishing, 2005

Dogon : mythe en werkelijkheid in Mali / R. Bedaux, J. D. Waals & T. A. W. Rossum / Stichting Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden. - Leiden : Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, 2003

African art / Frank Willett. - London : Thames & Hudson, 2002. - (World of art)

A history of art in Africa  / Monica Blackmun Visonà.  New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2001

Baule : African art, Western eyes / Susan Mullin Vogel / Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. - New Haven, Conn : Yale University Press [etc.], 1997

Contemporary art of Africa / André Magnin & Jacques Soulillou. - London : Thames and Hudson, 1996

Luba : aux sources du Zaire / François Neyt / Musée Dapper, Paris. - Paris : Musée Dapper, 1993. - (Editions Dapper ; no. 19)

Africa explores : 20th century African art / Susan Vogel, Ima Ebong & Walter E. A. Beek / Center for African Art, New York. - New York : The Center for African Art, 1991

Africa now: Jean Pigozzi Collection / André Magnin. - Las Palmas, Groningen: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Groninger Museum, 1991

Wit over zwart : beelden van Afrika en zwarten in de westerse populaire cultuur / Jan Nederveen Pieterse. - Amsterdam : Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen, 1990

Art history in Africa : an introduction to method / J. Vansina & C. Vansina. - London [etc.] : Longman, 1984

From Africa / Jean-Louis Paudrat.
In: Primitivism in 20th Century Art / ed. by William Rubin. - New York : Museum of Modern Art, 1984

"Made-in-Nigeria" artists : problems and anticipations / Dele Jegede
In: Nigeria Magazine: (1983), no. 144, p. 22-37.

Moderne kunst in Afrika / Harrie Leyten & Paul Faber. - Amsterdam : Tropenmuseum, 1980

The future of African art studies: an African perspective / Rowland Abiodun
In:  African Art Studies: the state of the discipline. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1980

The art of Black Africa / Elsy Leuzinger, Isabelle Wettstein & Brigitte Kauf. - London : Academy Editions, 1979book cover "Africa explores"

Art from Zaire : 100 masterworks from the national collection : an exhibition of traditional art from the Institute of the National Museums of Zaire (IMNZ) organized by the African-American Institute, the American Federation of Arts, and the government of the Republic of Zaire = L'Art du Zaire : 100 chefs-d'oeuvre de la collection nationale [etc.] / Joseph Cornet / Institut des musées nationaux du Zaire;African-American Institute;American Federation of Arts. - [New York] : African-American Institute, 1975

The art and peoples of black Africa / J. Delange, C. F. Jopling, H. Jopling Kaiser & Michel Leiris. - New York : E.P. Dutton, 1974

African art : the years since 1920 / Marshall Ward Mount. - Newton Abbot, Devon : David & Charles, 1973

Highlights from 2,000 years of Nigerian art / Ekpo Eyo. - [Lagos : Federal Department of Antiquities], 1973

Kunst van zwart Afrika, in het land aan de Zaire / Joseph Cornet, Willy Kerr & Adr Claerhout. - Brussel : Arcade, 1972

African art / Michel Leiris, Jacqueline Delange, André Malraux, André Parrot & Michael Ross. - London : Thames and Hudson, 1968. - (The Arts of mankind)

Panoply of Ghana / A.A.Y. Kyerematen. -  London: Longmans , Green and Co. Ltd, 1964

Classic African art (2010-)

Art and risk in ancient Yoruba : Ife history, power, and identity, c. 1300 / Suzanne Preston Blier. - Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2015book cover "Art and risk in ancient Yoruba"

From idol to art : African 'objects-with-power' : a challenge for missionaries anthropologists and museum curators / Harrie Leyten. - Leiden : African Studies Centre, 2015. - (African studies collection, ISSN 1876-0198 ; 59)

African masters : art from the Ivory Coast / Eberhard Fischer, Lorenz Homberger, Monica Blackmun Visonà, Daniela Bognolo & Bernard de Grunne. - Zurich : Scheidegger & Spiess, 2014

Les objets africains, ici et là-bas / Aurélien Lambert. - Paris : L'Harmattan, 2014. - (Logiques sociales)

Nok : African sculpture in archaeological context / Peter Breunig / Nigeria. National Commission for Museums and Monuments. - Frankfurt am Main : Africa Magna Verlag, 2014

Pour un autre regard sur l'art beti / Bienvenu Cyrille Bela. - Paris : L'Harmattan, 2014. - (Les arts d'ailleurs)

Visions of grace : 100 african masterpieces from the collection of Daniel and Marian Malcolm / Heinrich C. Schweizer. - Milan : 5 Continents Edition, 2014

Yoruba art and language : seeking the African in African art / Rowland Abiodun. - New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2014

À la rencontre des Nalu : arts de la côte de Guinée / Marie Yvonne Curtis. - Paris : l'Harmattan, 2013. - (Collection "Ethnoesthétique")

Exposer l'esclavage : méthodologies et pratiques / Anne Bocandé & Françoise Vergès
In: Africultures, ISSN 1276-2458 ; 91Africultures, ISSN 1276-2458 ; 91

Het Museum voor Kunst en Folklore van Luluaburg / Jan Raymaekers
In: Bulletin des séances / Académie royale des sciences d'outre-mer: (2013), vol. 59, no. 2/4, p. 243-282 : ill.

Le musée La Blackitude : arts et traditions préservées / Agnès Nana Sunjio. - Paris : L'Harmattan, 2013

The story of Däräsge Maryam : the history, buildings and treasures of a church compound with a painted church in the Semen mountains / Dorothea McEwan. - Zürich : Lit Verlag, 2013

African cosmos : stellar arts / Christine Mullen Kreamer & Randall Bird. - New York : The Monacelli Press, 2012

Arts d'Afrique noire et musées occidentaux / Babacar Mbaye Diop
In: Éthiopiques: (2012), no. 89, p. 277-287.

Carving wood, making history : the Fakeye family, modernity and Yoruba woodcarving / Adérónké Adésolá Adésànyà. - Trenton NJ ; London : Africa World Press, 2012

Émergence de l'art d'inspiration chrétienne au Bénin (XVIIe-XXe siècles) : missions chrétiennes et arts locaux / Érick Cakpo. - Paris : L'Harmattan, 2012. - (Ethnoesthétique)

Invention and tradition : the art of southeastern Nigeria / Herbert M. Cole & Dierk Dierking. - Munich [etc.] : Prestel, 2012

Kota / Louis Perrois. - Milan : 5 Continents, 2012. - (Visions of Africa)

Yoruba / Babatunde Lawal. - Milan : 5 Continents, 2012. - (Visions of Africa)

Ancêtre, pouvoir, représentation : cultures des peuples du bassin du Congo / Henri Marchal
In: Mondes et cultures: (2011), t. 71, vol. 1, p. 62-70 : ill. , krt.

Arts d'Afrique : voir l'invisible / Musée d'Aquitaine de la ville de Bordeaux. - Bordeaux [etc.] : Musée d'Aquitaine [etc.], 2011book cover "Arts d'Afrique"

Arts du Gabon / Louis Perrois. - Genève : Musée Barbier-Mueller, 2011

Des oeuvres d'art Dogon ou Tellem? : regard sur l'exposition "Dogon", quai Branly 2011 / Nadine Martinez. - Paris : L'Harmattan, 2011. - (Ethnoesthétique)

Dogon / Hélène Leloup / Musée du quai Branly, Paris. - Paris : Musée du quai Branly [etc.], 2011

Herbarium der Kultur : ethnographische Objekte und Bilder aus den Archiven des Frobenius-Instituts / Holger Jebens & Markus H. Lindner. - Frankfurt am Main : Frobenius-Institut, 2011

Le site de Laongo : intérêt touristique et iconographie féminine / Edwige Zagré Kaboré
In: Revue africaine: (2011), no. 5, p. 55-75 : foto's.

Les Wan, Mona et Koyaka de Côte d'Ivoire : le sacré, le secret / Alain Michel Boyer / Fondation culturelle Musée Barbier-Mueller. - Paris : Editions Hazan [etc.], 2011

Making history : African collectors and the canon of African art : the Femi Akinsanya African Art Collection / Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie. - Milan : 5 Continents Editions, 2011

Masquerade mosaic : Charles Partridge's collection from Eastern Nigeria 1903-1913 / David Jones. - [Ipswich] : Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, 2011

Refaire l'histoire : les collectionneurs africains et le canon de l'art africain : la collection d'art africain de Femi Akinsanya / Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie. - Milan : 5 Continents Editions, 2011

Tarkh al fattsh = The Timbuktu chronicles, 1493-1599 : English translation of the original works in Arabic by Al Hajj Mahmud Kati / Mamd Kut ibn Mutawakkil Kut Timbukt, Christopher Wise & Hala Abu Taleb. - Trenton, N.J : Africa World Press, 2011

The "Venus" of Jebel Uweinat (SE Libya) / Lenka Suková
In: Sahara: (2011), n. 22, p. 117-124 : ill. , krt.

The Predynastic dancing Egyptian figurine / Joan Relke
In: Journal of Religion in Africa: (2011), vol. 41, no. 4, p. 396-426 : ill.

Arts, politiques et pouvoirs : les productions artistiques du Dahomey (Bénin): fonctions et devenirs: réflexions / Marlène Michèle Biton. - Paris : L'Harmattan, 2010. - (Collection "Ethnoesthétique")

Création et fonctions dans l'art statuaire lobi / Yamba Bidima
In: Cahiers du CERLESHS: (2010), t. 25, no. 35, p. 259-296 : foto's, krt. , tab.

Exploring frontiers of archaeology and cultural resource management : untold stories of the Esie stone figurines / J. O. Aleru & K. Adekola
In: Journal of Environment and Culture: (2010), vol. 7, no. 2, p. 50-64 : foto's, krt.

Les chevaux de la satire = The horses of satire : les kórèdugaw du Mali / Jean Paul Colleyn & Barbara Mellor. - Paris : Gourcuff Gradenigo, 2010

Nigeria 100 years ago : through the eyes of Leo Frobenius and his expedition team / Richard Kuba & Musa O. Hambolu / Universität Frankfurt am Main. Frobenius-Institut;Nigeria. National Commission for Museums and Monuments. - Frankfurt/Main : Frobenius Institute at the Goethe University, 2010

Women's power, 1000 A.D.: figurine art and gender politics in prehistoric southern Africa / Jean Marie Dederen
In: Nordic Journal of African Studies: (2010), vol.19, no.1, p.23-42 : ill.

Modern and contemporary art (2010-)

Art journals in Morocco: new ways of seeing and saying / Mary Vogl
In: The Journal of North African Studies: (2016), vol. 21, no. 2, p. 235-257.

Africa : architecture, culture identity / Michael Juul Holm & Mette Marie Kallehauge. - Humlebæk : Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Conflicting interpretations in the biography of a modern artist of African descent / Simon Ottenberg
In: Journal of West African History: (2015), vol.1, no.2, p.45-70.

Games of seduction and games of history : Alioum Moussa's 'Fashion Victims' in Niamey, Niger / Amanda Gilvin
In: African Studies Review: (2015), vol.58, no.1, p.55-89 : foto's.

Ici c'est bon : enseignes peintes à la main en Afrique de l'Ouest / Clément Criseo & Malou Verlomme. - Paris : Gallimard-Alternatives, 2015

Postcolonial modernism : art and decolonization in twentieth-century Nigeria / Chika Okeke-Agulu. - Durham : Duke University Press, cover 'Postcolonial moderinsm'

Quest, chaos, creativity: 'Memorandum: a story with paintings' / Jean Rossmann
In: English Academy Review: (2015), vol.32, no.2, p.38-52 : ill.

Seeing the image of an Eritrean Hero / Yonatan T. Tewelde
In: Journal of African Cultural Studies: (2015), vol.27, no.2, p.172-180 : ill.

'queer & trans Art-iculations': decolonising gender and sexualities in the global South / Haley McEwen & Tommaso M. Milani. - Durban : Agenda Feminist Media, 2014. - (Agenda, ISSN 2158-978X ; vol. 28, no. 4)

50 ans de cultures noires au Sénégal : (1960-2010) / Moustapha Tamba & Myriam Odile Blin. - Paris : L'Harmattan, 2014

Beyond the 'After Math' : exploring psychological decolonisation in a post-apartheid context of artistic praxis / Farieda Nazier
In: Critical Arts: (2014), vol.28, no.2, p.199-215 : foto's.

Civilising the Cape : public art exhibitions and Cape visual culture, 1851-1910 / Anna Tietze & Nicholas Botha
In: Journal of Southern African Studies: (2014), vol.40, no.6, p.1177-1191.

Political, aesthetic, and ethical positions of Tunisian women artists, 2011-13 / Lilia Labidi
In: The Journal of North African Studies : (2014), vol. 19. no. 2, p. 157-171

Postcolonial archival fever and the musical archiving of African identity in selected paintings by Elias Jengo / Imani Sanga
In: Journal of African Cultural Studies: (2014), vol.26, no.2, p.140-154 : ill.

The recreation of modern and African art at Achimota School in the Gold Coast (1927-52) / Rhoda Woets
In: Journal of African History: (2014), vol. 55, no. 3, p. 445-465 : foto's, ill.

Violent modernity : gender, race and bodies in contemporary South African politics / Shireen Hassim
In: Politikon: (2014), vol.41, no.2, p.167-182.

"Bedürfnis zur Beachtung" : Ikonoklasmus, afrikanisches Kulturerbe und Bildökonomie, Frobenius-Vortrag 2012 / Peter Probst
In: Paideuma / Frobenius-Institut: (2013), Bd. 59, S. 31-49 : foto's.

A companion to modern African Art / Gitti Salami & Monica Blackmun Visonà. - Chichester : Wiley Blackwell, 2013. - (Blackwell companions to art history ; 6)

African art and agency in the workshop / Sidney Littlefield Kasfir & Till Förster. - Bloomington, IN [etc.] : Indiana University Press, 2013. - (African expressive cultures)book cover 'African art and agency in the workshop'

African art, interviews, narratives : bodies of knowledge at work / Joanna Grabski & Carol L. Magee. - Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press, 2013. - (African expressive cultures)

Art and trauma in Africa : representations of reconciliation in music, visual arts, literature and film / Lizelle Bisschoff & Stefanie van de Peer. - London : I.B. Tauris, 2013. - (International library of cultural studies ; vol. 21)

Ibrahim El-Salahi : a visionary modernist / Salah M. Hassan, Sarah Adams & Ibrahim El Salahi. - London : Tate, 2013

Imaginary fact : contemporary South African art and the archive : an exhibition presented in the South African Pavilion at the 55th La Biennale di Venezia / Brenton Maart & Joanne Bloch. - Grahamstown : National Arts Festival, 2013

Imagining possibilities : feminist cultural production, non-violent identities, and embracing the Other in post-colonial South Africa / Nadia Sanger
In: African Identities: (2013), vol. 11, no. 1, p. 61-78 : foto's.

Inner-city safaris and wild public art / Stacey Vorster
In: Critical Arts: (2013), vol. 27, no. 2, p. 147-162 : photos.

Kumasi realism, 1951-2007 : an African modernism / Atta Kwami. - London : Hurst & Company, 2013

Les arts de la citoyenneté au Sénégal : espaces contestés et civilités urbaines / Mamadou Diouf & Rosalind Fredericks. - Paris : Karthala, 2013. - (Hommes et sociétés)

Namibia, African art and the international market / Piet Van Rooyen
In: Journal / Namibia Scientific Society: (2013), vol. 61, p. 89-103 : foto's.

Special issue 1 : Revisiting the ethnographic turn in contemporary art / Kris Rutten, An Van Dienderen & Ronald Soetaert
In: Critical arts, ISSN 0256-0046 ; vol. 27, no. 5Critical arts, ISSN 0256-0046 ; vol. 27, no. 5.

Understand visual art : concepts in Uganda / M. Makanga Jacob Zaake. - [S.l. s.n.], 2013

Wangechi Mutu : a fantastic journey / Wangechi Mutu & Trevor Schoonmaker / Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. - Durham, NC : Nasher Museum of Art, 2013

Watermarks : intervening in the City of Cape Town / Miranda Young-Jahangeer
In: Critical Arts: (2013), vol. 27, no. 2, p. 254-262 : photos.

Artistic suggestions for peaceful transition in northern Uganda : what youth are saying / Lindsay M. McClain
In: African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review: (2012), vol. 2, no. 1, p. 152-163 : ill. , foto's.

Artists of Nigeria / Onyema Offoedu-Okeke. - Milan : 5 Continents, 2012

Changing strategies in marketing Kenya's tourist art : from ethnic brands to fair trade labels / Dillon Mahoney
In: African Studies Review: (2012), vol. 55, no. 1, p. 161-190 : foto's.

Cinquante ans d'indépendance en Afrique subsaharienne et au Togo / Théodore Nicoué Lodjou Gayibor. - Paris : L'Harmattan, 2012. - (Etudes africaines)

Condition report : symposium on building art institutions in Africa = État des lieux : symposium sur la création d'institutions d'art en Afrique / Koyo Kouoh, Anna Knight, Carole Small Diop & David Clément Leye. - Ostfildern : Hatje Cantz, 2012

Development, modernism and modernity in Africa / Augustine Agwuele. - New York [etc.] : Routledge, 2012. - (Routledge African studies ; 7)

El Anatsui : art and life / Susan Mullin Vogel & El Anatsui. - Munich [etc.] : Prestel, 2012

Environment and object : recent African art / Lisa Aronson & John S. Weber. - Munich [etc.] : Prestel Publishing [etc.], 2012

Ezumeezu : essays on Nigerian art & architecture : a festschrift in honour of Demas Nwoko / O. Udechukwu, C. Okeke-Agulu & W. Soyinka. -   Glassboro, NJ: Goldline & Jacobs Pub, 2012

Modern Nigerian art: art pricing and the Nigerian economy, 1960 to 2008 / Freeborn Odiboh
In: Research Review / Institute of African Studies: (2012), n. s. , vol. 27, no. 2, p. 59-74.

Soixante ans de création à l'École de peinture de Poto Poto (Congo-Brazzaville) / Nora Greani
In: Cahiers d'études africaines: (2012), vol. 52, cah. 205, p. 259-267.

Szene Afrika : Kunst und Kultur Afrikas südlich der Sahara / Manfred Loimeier. - Frankfurt am Main : Brandes & Apsel, 2012. - (Literarisches Programm ; 155)

The Rainbow Nation : hedendaagse beeldhouwkunst uit Zuid-Afrika = contemporary South African sculpture / Dick van Broekhuizen & Feico Hoekstra. - Zwolle : WBOOKS, 2012

Über(w)unden : art in troubled times / Lien Heidenreich-Seleme & Sean O'Toole. - Auckland Park : Jacana Media [etc.], 2012

We face forward: art from West Africa today / Maria Balshaw,  Natasha Howes,  Alan J. Rice, Christine Eyene,  Koyo Kouoh. - Manchester: Manchester City Galleries, 2012

"What is this?" : framing Ghanaian art from the colonial encounter to the present / Rhoda Woets. - Amsterdam : Vrije Universiteit, 2011. - (Dissertation series / Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University Amsterdam)

Ato Malinda / Nancy Hoffmann, Didier Schau, Njami Simon, Nathalie Mba Bikoro & Ato Malinda / Goethe-Institut, Nairobi, Kenya. - Nairobi : Goethe-Institut Kenya, 2011. - (Contact zones NRB ; 04)

Biennale de Dakar 2010 : "In" et "Off" entre dénonciation et envolée / Hélène Tissières
In: Éthiopiques: (2011), no. 86, p. 215-235 : foto's.

Critique de la notion d'art africain : approches historiques, ethno-esthétiques et philosophiques / Babacar Mbaye Diop. - Paris : Connaissances et savoirs, 2011. - (Sciences humaines et sociales . Philosophie)

Debating and framing 'SPace: currencies in contemporary African art' / Thembinkosi Goniwe
In: African Identities: (2011), vol. 9, no. 2, p. 187-248 : ill.

Don't/panic / Gabi Ngcobo & Nomaduma Masilela. - Auckland Park : Fanele, 2011

Fire walker : William Kentridge, Gerhard Marx / William Kentridge, Gerhard Marx, Oliver Barstow & Bronwyn Law-Viljoen. - [Johannesburg] : Fourthwall Books, 2011

Jane Alexander surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope) / Jane Alexander & Pep Subirós. - New York : Museum for African Art, 2011

Les "Femmes d'Alger", d'Eugène Delacroix (1834) à Djamel Tatah (1996): déconstruction de la représentation picturale de l'Algérie? / Émilie Goudal
In: Maghreb et sciences sociales: (2011), p. 233-241 : foto's.

Osogbo and the art of heritage / Peter Probst. - Bloomington, IN : Indiana University Press, 2011. - (African expressive cultures)

Pour un monde meilleur / Nayeli Zimmermann & Jenny Baese. - Berlin : AfricAvenir International, 2011

Seeing ourselves: Zimbabwe Pavilion, 54th international art exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2011 / Christine Eyene,  Katrina Schwarz. - Milano: Charta, 2011

Tingatinga - kitsch or quality : bicycle enamel on board & canvas / Tine Thorup, Hanne Thorup & Cuong Sam. - Copenhagen : thorupART, 2011book cover "Tingatinga - kitsch or quality"

Visual century - South African art in context 1907-2007 / Gavin Jantjes. - Johannesburg : Wits University Press, 2011

Visual revision: intersecting art and film in the work of Jean-Marie Teno and Raoul Peck / David M. M. Riep
In: Journal of African Cinemas: (2011), vol. 3, no. 1, p. 81-92.

40 ans d'art et de soleil : Le Soleil 40 ans 1970-2010 / Cheikh Thiam & Jean Pires. - Dakar : Les éditions du Soleil, 2010

African signs / Rob Floor, Gert van Zanten & Paul Faber. - Amsterdam : KIT Publishers, 2010

Contemporary African art history and the scholarship : Nka roundtable II / Chika Okeke-Agulu & Okwui Enwezor
In: Nka : journal of contemporary African art = ISSN 1075-7163: (2010)

David Adjaye's Geo-graphics : a map of art practices in Africa, past and present / David Adjaye, Emiliano Battista & Michael Breslin. - Brussels : BOZAR Expo, 2010. - (Visionary Africa)

Made in Dakar : actualité de la culture sénégalaise / Fabrice Hervieu-Wane & Stéphane Tourné. - Dakar : La Rochette, 2010

Pitika Ntuli : scent of invisible footprints : the sculpture of Pitika Ntuli / Antoinette Ntuli & Pitika Ntuli / MuseuMAfricA, Johannesburg, South Africa. - Pretoria : UNISA Press, 2010

Prince Twins Seven-Seven : his art, his life in Nigeria, his exile in America / Henry Glassie & Seven Seven Twins. - Bloomington, Ind : Indiana University Press, 2010book cover "Prince Twins Seven Seven"

Rolling, stitching and sewing jute fibre : The 'Line Walk' Sculpture Project / Eva Obodo
In: Research Review / Institute of African Studies: (2010), n. s. , vol. 26, no. 1, p. 23-36 : foto's.

The address of the other : the body and the senses in contemporary South African visual art / Leora Farber & Ryan Bishop
In: Critical arts, ISSN 0256-0046 ; vol. 24, no. 3.

Visionary Africa. - Brussels : BOZAR Expo, 2010

Vocational education and the challenges of the Nigerian economy / R. O. R. Kalilu. - Central Milton Keynes : AuthorHouse, 2010

Who knows tomorrow / Udo Kittelmann, Chika Okeke-Agulu & Britta Schmitz. - Köln [etc.] : Walther König, 2010

Illicit trade in cultural property

The return of cultural and historical treasures : the case of the Netherlands / Jos van Beurden. - Amsterdam :  KIT Publishers, 2012 : art and the restitution question ; an art exhibition of installations and sculptures / Peju Layiwola and Sola Olorunyomi (eds.) . - Ibadan : Wy Art Editions, 2010

"Patrons' et 'petits patrons': knowledge and hierarchy in illicit networks of trade in archaeological objects in the Baniko region of Mali / Cristiana Panella
In: Review of African Political Economy: (2010), vol. 37, no. 124, p. 228-237.

Goden, graven en grenzen : over kunstroof uit Afrika, Azie en Latijns-Amerika / Jos van Beurden & Hansje Galesloot. - Amsterdam [etc.] : KIT Publishers, 2001

Illicit traffic in cultural property : museums against pillage / Harrie Leyten, Nicoline Gatehouse & Paulette Géraud. - Amsterdam : Royal Tropical Institute, 1995

Selected web resources

African art on the Internet
Comprehensive guide to Internet resources on African art, prepared by Karen Fung (curator of the African Collection at Stanford Libraries).

IAM - Intense Art Magazine
IAM is bilingual (English/French) cross-media platform,  dedicated to women in visual arts, fashion and design from Africa and its Diaspora, encompassing both an editorial website, a high quality print magazine published twice a year and a program of events. IAM explores local artistic African scenes; portrays artists, designers, curators and art professionals from Africa and its Diaspora.

Lecture by Prof. Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz
New trends in artistic practices in Africa and its diaspora:

Modern African Art: a basic reading list
Compiled by Janet L. Stanley, National Museum of African Art Library, Smithsonian Institution Libraries. Last update: February 2016

Trafficking Culture
Trafficking Culture is an international research consortium that produces evidence-based research into the contemporary global trade in looted cultural objects. The website contains an Encyclopedia which presents introductory materials on the research topic including numerous cases studies of famously looted artefacts, critical analysis of a relevant law,  selection of methodological orientations for conducting research on the topic, and a brief introduction to criminological or social theory. The Publications section includes over 100 academic articles about the illicit trade in cultural objects.

Web dossier African Art
The dossier is based  on the ASC library's collection and contains titles of books and articles published between 1994-2004.