CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2008 |
Warren M. Robbins, founder of the Museum of African Art, forerunner to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art, died Dec. 4 at George Washington University Hospital of complications from a fall at his home last month. He was 85. When he started the Museum of African Art in 1964, Robbins had never been to Africa, never worked in a museum, never been involved with the arts and never raised money.
March 27, 1993 |
The new Museum for African Art has opened with an exhibition that does double duty. Articulated with a variety of often arresting masks, architectural sculptures, textiles, reliquary objects and a carved and painted dance enclosure, its fascinating subject is secrecy. A variety of African cultures make objects that declare the presence of secret knowledge, while simultaneously keeping the secret hidden.
March 13, 1988 |
Life is a messy junk heap of mixed facts, fantasies, wishes and realities. Our poor minds can't make sense of it unless we sort things into piles of stuff that seem to be alike, rusty tin cans over here, bicycle handlebars there, discarded toys in the middle. This pigeon-holing is absolutely necessary to our function as human animals, and our ability to generalize is one of our saving talents. Unfortunately, it is also the way we arrive at stereotype and prejudice.
October 25, 1991 |
Dr. Robert and Helen Kuhn's Los Angeles-based collection of African art will be offered for sale Nov. 20 at Sotheby's New York. The auction house has estimated the value of the 140 objects to be sold at $2.8 million to $3.9 million. The highlight of the sale is a 12th-Century terra cotta sculpture from Mali depicting a mythic animal, thought to be a ram. The graceful, 31-inch-tall figure--one of fewer than a dozen of its type--is valued at $250,000 to $350,000.
February 2, 1994 |
As a doctoral student in anthropology, Christopher Steiner surveyed studies of African art. He found a lot of attention paid to its original use in African society but not a word on how the works make their way to the art markets of Europe and America. He said he believes that is at least partly because African art dealers and collectors would rather not acknowledge the economic side of their pursuit: the way in which ritual objects are transformed into commodities.
July 25, 1995 |
When New York's Museum for African Art moved downtown in 1993, officials came up with an exhibit to appeal to their new neighbors, Soho's celebrated enclave of contemporary artists. "Western Artists/African Art," which went on the road--it currently is at the Newport Harbor Art Museum--showcases African artifacts (sculpture, masks, textiles, musical instruments and furniture) collected by two dozen well-known American contemporary artists.