Excerpt from Research Paper: African-American Art The art of African-Americans became a powerful medium for social and self-expression. Visual arts including sculpture carried with it political implications related to colonialismoppression, and liberation.
The study of African art began in the early twentieth century, and African art research paper much of its development focused solely on the area south of the Sahara and on art forms rooted in precolonial culture, which was seen as static and timeless.
Egypt and northern Africa were seen as separate entities. The colonial and postcolonial eras were viewed as periods of decline in African art, due to what were seen as negative outside influences in materials, techniques, subject matter, style, and patronage.
In contrast, recent scholarship takes a more inclusive and historically dynamic view. The continent is treated as an integrated whole and the changes of the past century are seen as continuing the evolution that African art has experienced throughout its history.
Research today focuses on the artistic interconnections between geographic regions, ethnic groups, and time periods, and contemporary art is given equal footing with so-called traditional forms.
Ancient African Art The earliest known works of art from Africa are the paintings of animals found on rocks in the Apollo 11 cave in southern Namibia so-named because they were discovered in July when the spacecraft landed on the moon.
These have been dated 26,—24, BCE, making them as old or older than the Paleolithic cave paintings of western Europe. Rock paintings and engravings are also found in East Africa and North Africa, particularly in what is now the Sahara; these depictions of animals and humans document the change from the lush, well-watered grasslands of around BCE to the arid conditions we know today.
As the Sahara became drier, its human inhabitants were forced to move, and many of them settled in the Nile Valley, where they contributed to the development of ancient Egyptian and Nubian culture and art. Despite their early date, the Nok sculptures already show visual elements characteristic of African art from later periods.
They depict facial features and body parts as abstract geometric shapes, and they alter the natural proportions of the body to emphasize the head. They portray the elaborate hairstyles and beaded body ornaments that are also an important part of the dress of many later African peoples. During the first millennium CE the cultural features that characterized sub-Saharan African societies until the late nineteenth century were established, such as states based on sacred kingship, long-distance trade, urbanism especially in west Africaand various forms of social and religious organization.
All of these contributed to the evolution of African visual arts. Sophisticated and expressive terracotta sculptures were produced there, primarily between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. Some depict figures with the trappings of leadership, others are possibly in positions of prayer, and still others appears tormented by diseases or snakes.
Little is known about the function of these figures, since the majority of them have been illicitly excavated. Archaeologists believe they were used in domestic rituals, perhaps to ensure the solid foundation of a house and the family within it.
Jenne-Jeno was part of a vast trading network that stretched north across the Sahara and south to the forests along the coast of West Africa. There, the site of Igbo-Ukwu in southeastern Nigeria produced lavishly decorated bronze objects using an indigenously developed lostwax technique.
The technique involves coating a wax model in plaster and clay, leaving a small hole in the bottom; when the model is heated, the clay and plaster harden, and the wax melts i.
Then the sculptor pours molten bronze into the cavity, and when the bronze cools, chips away the outer layer of plaster and clay. Made in the ninth or tenth century, these were the regalia of a local priest-king.
The city of Ile-Ife in southwestern Nigeria, still a political and spiritual center today, had its artistic flowering between and Christianity and Islam were introduced into Africa soon after their inception and quickly found expression in African art and architecture.
At first African Christianity was limited to Egypt and Ethiopia, where the rock-cut churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia and boldly colored illuminated manuscripts and icons constitute important contributions to Christian art.
The Great Mosque at Kairouan in Tunisia, built of stone in the ninth century, is one of the oldest mosques in existence. The Great Mosque at Jenne, the Muslim city that arose next to Jenne-Jeno, is typical of west African Islamic architecture in its use of sun-dried mud bricks and strongly projecting engaged pillars and towers along its facade.
When the earliest European explorers arrived in Africa in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they found several thriving kingdoms as well as smaller social units producing notable works of art.
In the Kingdom of Benin in Nigeria, ivory carvers and brass casters produced thousands of works of art for use in court rituals that strengthened the spiritual power, authority, and grandeur of the Oba, or divine king.
Notable among these were brass heads representing ancestors, ivory tusks carved in relief with figures from Benin history, and brass palace plaques that depicted the panoply of the Benin court hierarchy.
In the Kongo Kingdom luxurious textiles of raffia fiber and fly whisks made of ivory distinguished the rulers and other wealthy and powerful people.
Brass crucifixes modeled after European prototypes testified to the adaptation to local styles and ideology of objects introduced by Christian missionaries.
At Great Zimbabwe, monumental stone buildings, rare elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, were created as the residences and ritual centers for rulers from to The Modern Era Most of the African art known today through museum collections and publications was made in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
This was a period of great change in Africa, as political, religious, and cultural practices were forced to adapt to new conditions brought about by colonialism and, later, independence. The following examples provide only a brief glimpse of the variety and complexity of African art in this period.
Many of these art forms still thrive, although they continue to change, as they always have, in response to new circumstances. The Bamana people of Mali are primarily subsistence farmers who live in independent villages led by male elders.
These associations embody spiritual powers, and their members wield social and political authority within Bamana villages.African Art Research papers on african art look into the art form that reflects the cultural heritage of the continent Africa.
African art is a reflection of the cultural heritage of a continent, stretching back millennia into the past. Excerpt from Research Paper: African-American Art The art of African-Americans became a powerful medium for social and self-expression.
Visual arts including sculpture carried with it political implications related to colonialism, oppression, and leslutinsduphoenix.com with other forms of creative expression, African-American visual arts particularly flourished during the Harlem Renaissance.
See more African History Research Paper Topics. Art History Research Paper Topics The main task of art history is to collect, preserve, classify, appreciate, and mediate historic artworks of all periods.
Excerpt from Research Paper: African-American Art The art of African-Americans became a powerful medium for social and self-expression. Visual arts including sculpture carried with it political implications related to colonialism, oppression, and leslutinsduphoenix.com with other forms of creative expression, African-American visual arts particularly .
Art Research Papers Art research paper topic suggestions come in the form of art history, architecture, artists, film, music, theater and plays, and works of art topics. African Masks - Research paper topic suggestion on the tradition of African Masks and their relationship to fetishes.
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