A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
March Newsletter. Museums, Fairs, Events, Pieces,
Dear reader ,
This month you will be able to visit a few Museums and fairs and see a few of my recent acquisitions.
Museu Nacional de Etnologia, Lisboa.
Ethnographic collection with pieces from around the world. The Maconde people, Amazonian Indians. Section showing Portuguese agricultural tools. Restaurant.
Av. Ilha da Madeira
21 304 11 60
Featuring more than 100 masks, sculptures,
textiles and other objects, “The African Art Experience” has a great deal to
sort through, but the sheer visual power and symbolic character
of these objects make it a worthwhile effort.
read the African art experience
participate in the
Fair, the Biennial Fair
of Antiques of Lisbon, Scheduled for 27 March to 4 April 2004.
de Mendonça Gallo FEIRA INTERNACIONAL DE LISBOA
A Mask dance festival in Antwerp from 6 to 14 March.
A new Document and websites clustering search engine at eBay search engine , try it.
Tue, 24 Feb 2004
From: Susan Vogel
Charles Benenson passed away peacefully at his home on 22 February 2004 at the age of 91. He was a prominent figure in many circles, but for the readers of this list, he was significant for his love of African art. Charles was a founding board member and long-time supporter of the Center for African Art (now Museum for African Art); a generous supporter of African exhibition space at the Metropolitan Museum; and a donor to the Yale University Art Gallery. But it is certainly as a collector that he made his most personal contribution to the field.
Charles Benenson, with a fearless and often unconventional taste, quietly created one of the great and distinctive African art collections of the late twentieth century. Modest and self-deprecating, he guarded the strictest anonymity even when fifty major objects from his collection were published and exhibited.*
As a collector, he broke all the rules. Collectors are supposed to flag after a decade of buying one kind of art, but his love of African art, awakened over thirty years ago, never waned. I would guess he bought at least one sculpture every month from the time I met him sometime in 1971 through the mid 1990's. In the midst of a hectic business life, he could never resist someone who wanted to show him a work of African art - he would look at anything. From the most elegant European art dealers to the newly - arrived Africans with minimal English - all alike were cordially treated to his quick eye, fierce bargaining, and easy personal access. He loved to buy - and he loved live with every single individual piece. No one was a more reluctant lender to exhibitions, and no one missed each specific presence in his life as much as he did when they left the house.
The many hundreds of sculptures he has left to the Yale University Art Gallery are evidence of his singular eye. He chose those works one by one with amazing speed; in seconds, literally, he would understand a piece and see its quality. He also chose them with what might have been reckless disregard for what was fashionable or rare, or published and famous, or admired by other people. His only regard was for great sculpture, and that he could spot wherever it lay - in great classical Yoruba altars with their serene wide eyes, in funky recent masks with plastic flowers on them, and above all in the powerful, aggressive, demanding pieces from Nigeria and Cameroon that dominate the collection. This collection is at the same time a curator's nightmare and a dream, because so many of the works are completely unlike anything in other collections. They can be impossible to classify, impossible to write about - other than that they are breathtakingly wonderful. He didn't care very much about documentation or where something came from, and never bothered much with the anthropology. For those details and for authenticity he relied on someone else. He had one of the most insignificant shelves of African art books that I have ever seen. Judging from the results, no one ever needed them less.
Susan Vogel, Director Prince Street Pictures, Inc.
* as "An American Collection" in Closeup: Lessons in Seeing African Art by J. L. Thompson and S. Vogel (1990, the Center for African Art and Prestel Verlag).
Read the whole Benenson story.
If you need a currency exchange use www.xe.com Click to view large images.
When you buy you get free delivery and a 15-day money back guarantee (no questions asked).
A small Yoruba Ifa cup with a fine old patina, price 1500 €
A small Tschokwe figure, with French patina, 17.5 cm, probably top of a staff. Price 1.900 euros.A small Tschokwe chair with an old inscription on the inside dating this piece before 1916.
Price on requestA fine Madagascan funeral piece. 96 cm high
Price: 5.500 euros
I hope you have enjoyed this edition of the newsletter ,
David Norden. African art, and discussion group.St Katelijnevest 27 B2000 Antwerpen Belgium. Tel. +32 3 2273540
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