A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
Learning, collecting, trading ... three generations far
If the motive is merely economic, one will soon be faced to the extent of his
financial resources, which limit the collector's possibilities. For some
people, collecting is a way of investing their money, for others, it is a
source of even more profit. When you think is over, you will also have to
consider the part of the expert and the trader in this process, the ways and
styles of collecting, the differences in tastes,…all this without being able
to clarify the mystery of the wish to possess.
At first sight, my family seems to be a
propitious ground to start this questioning with. We have already come to the
third generation passionate by Africa. When I was appointed assistant at the
university of Lumumbashi in 1957, I had already been a fervent enthusiast of
African Art for quite some time. As early as 1939, my cousin had offered me an
ivory Pende ikokho to exorcize the parting, when she went back to Congo.
Because a convent nun confiscated it from me as a pagan idol and never gave it
back to me, I started obstinately collecting a series of objects to make up
for the loss.
Indeed, there is so much knowledge to acquire in order to practice this
profession. The father was finally vanquished: what had remained for me
mere"amateurism"became real expert work for him. I am quite willing
to admit I am proud of him when he manages to convince me of the exceptional
artistic strength of this Mbugu mother-and- child statue from his collection,
of the gothic inner impression of a never seen before Luba face from my
collection, of…the reader has noticed how the psychoanalyst gives way to the
father. And here is the third generation already at work, godchild Deirdre. I
have heard about her traveling, her first steps in trading. And later, yes,
what will it be like? Let's the organizing silence reign. Children,
grandchildren, great-grandchildren may/must speak in their own name. The
father, the grandfather nods and grumbles"hm,hm", and he acquiesces.
Discover the African Art books I like or join me on facebook
African Antiques is the archive and not growing much anymore but still updated.
Visit African Art to join our free newsletter and read recent African Art News.
For the last news about lavuun you should join our African Art Club and become an insider of the African art market.
And if you are a collector of African Art, have a look at our exclusive African Art Collection for sale.
Tribal Arts of Africa
read also :
mail David Norden phone +32 3 227.35.40