African Art in the Barnes Foundation: The Triumph of L’Art nègre and the
By Christa Clarke, with contributions by 15 other distinguished scholars
African Art in the Barnes Foundation
is the first catalogue of the approximately 125 African objects—including
figural sculpture and masks, as well as utilitarian objects—that Albert C.
Barnes acquired between 1921 and 1924. Barnes was one of the first people in
the United States to display African objects as art, at a time when they were
considered ethnographic specimens. Not only did he regard African works as art,
but he considered them to be the highest form of three-dimensional expression.
He installed his African collection amid European and American works from the
early Renaissance to the twentieth century. Barnes placed African art at the
heart of his foundation, linking African aesthetics to its educational mission.
His lifelong commitment to the advancement of African Americans and his vision
of social justice through education led to his promotion of African art and his
early involvement in the Harlem Renaissance.
12 3/4 x 9 1/4 x 1 1/2 in., 295 pages, hardcover.