Cover image for Collecting African American art : works on paper and canvas
Title:
Collecting African American art : works on paper and canvas
Author:
Taha, Halima.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Crown, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
xvi, 270 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780517705933
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library N6538.N5 T34 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
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Summary

Summary

Art enthusiasts and lovers of African American art have long considered collecting art a hobby reserved solely for the wealthy. Collecting African-American Art: Works on Paper and Canvas effectively dispels this misconception.   In these pages, lavishly illustrated with almost two hundred works by a wide range of artists, readers will find practical guidelines for becoming an informed collector, including specific criteria for working with dealers. By providing succinct advice on framing, insurance, tax and estate planning, as well as pointers on how to care for one's collection, author Halima Taha makes collecting an enjoyable -- and affordable -- pastime for everyone. Combining a rich and diverse blend of aesthetic traditions from Africa, the Caribbean, and America, African American art has emerged as the most actively collected art in the marketplace. This guide presents both emerging and established artists and identifies dealers throughout the nation specializing in the field. Insightful and accessible, it is the first book to define the role of the collector of African American art. The result is a unique and essential guide to developing a meaningful and rewarding collection.


Excerpts

Excerpts

CONTENTS Foreword by Deirdre Bibby Foreword by Samella Lewis Introduction by Ntozake Shange Chapter 1         Collecting  Art   Chapter 2         Basic Training Chapter 3         Dollars and Sense Chapter 4         Displaying and Taking Care of Your Collection Chapter 5         Historical Overview Chapter 6         Prints Chapter 7         Photography Afterword by June Kelly Postscript by Evangeline J. Montgomery Appendices Art Dealers Photography Resources African American Museum Association Resources Selected Bibliography Index Excerpt from Chapter 1: Collecting Art It doesn't have to be glitter to be gold. --ARTHUR  ASHE Collecting is a basic part of the human personality. We usually start out with toys, stamps, sports cards, or comics, then move on to books, music, and recipes. Yet, when we consider collecting art, we think that we have to be experts or extremely wealthy. To many beginning collectors, the art market appears to be a closed and forbidding community. If any of these misconceptions have kept you from or limited your approach to collecting art, you are invited to reconsider. This book will expose you to the talent of American artists of African descent and guide you through the art world's labyrinth of information. Essentially, Collecting African American Art: Works on Paper and Canvas is intended to nurture the development of informed collectors. This book emerged from an awareness that what had once been an arcane topic of discussion--African American artists as the subject of critical discourse among art historians, critics, collectors, curators, auction houses, and dealers--has become, in recent years, cause célèbre, generating excite-ment, controversy, and optimism. As we approach the millennium, an expanding awareness of African American history and culture, increasing prosperity, and an integrated community of artists, arts professionals, entrepreneurs, and patrons of the arts have fueled the burgeoning interest in African American art. Most Americans recognize that one of black America's greatest contributions to the twentieth century is jazz. There is a strong analogy between Earl "Fatha" Hines's rhythm of song and the Cubist innovations of the late 1920s, paralleled by the blues-drenched Pointillism of Count Basie and the angular Impressionism of Duke Ellington. And more recently, art enthusi-asts have been realizing that the same people who developed this musical art form have also been creating its visual equivalent since 1780. African American art has become a source of awe and attraction because of its unique history of African and European influences. Ultimately, though, the issue is not how the work of African Americans compares to that of their European peers, but to what extent it shows the artists' ability to create images that viewers, regardless of their background, can relate to. Collectively, the work of African American artists is not confined to one style or influence. These artists are no different from any other artist engaged in the creative struggle to express an individual sensibility, while simultaneously relat-ing to the historical and cultural rhythms of time and place. Critical attention has positioned the work of African American artists among the most actively purchased and affordable American art because of its conceptual and aesthetic spheres of interest. Not only does black art in America po-ssess a unique global characteristic by virtue of the rich contributions by artists from the African continent, the Caribbean, and the Americas, but it is in itself an exciting study of cultural diversity at its very best. Excellent-quality drawings, paintings, and prints by established, mid-career, and emerging artists can be found to fit any taste and budget. You need nothing more than your interest, patience, and a steady income to begin collecting African American art. And since the established marketplace is still trying to catch up to what has already grown, prices are still affordable even for budding collectors. There is no such thing as a "typical" art col-lector. Some collectors are just beginning their careers or decorating their first homes; some are ending their careers and looking for a new activity  to engage in in their retirement years. Some are professional art historians or curators; some have just begun to look at art for the first time. Some buy on a strict budget; others have unlim-ited funds. The thing they all have in common is an interest in owning and enjoying great works of art. Here are some reasons people collect art: Decoration Art as interior decoration. Status Collecting art may enhance social standing. Hobby Collecting as an enjoyable activity: meeting people, going to museums and openings. Creativity Assembling a good collection can be like making a good painting. Also, by supporting young, unknown artists, some collectors feel they are participating in their work. Instinct Some collectors simply can't help themselves. We all have personal reasons for thinking a particular work of art is more desirable and satis-fying to own than another. Whether a selection is spontaneous, or based on knowledge of art his-tory, art technique, market values, and current trends, every choice remains an individual one. Just as a work of art communicates the thoughts and feelings of the artist, so an art collection reflects the collector's perception of what is beau-tiful, meaningful, or technically proficient. So always ask yourself: What do I see? What do I feel? What do I think or understand? What do I like or dislike about a work on paper or canvas? Do I like the colors, shapes, subject, or the way the imagery is broken up or put together? Why I feel this way? You must have a dialogue with yourself before you can have one with anybody else. Keep in mind that the most significant function of taste is to amplify your enjoyment in your visual perceptions and experiences. Your reac-tion to a piece of art may not be anything like that of another observer--and this is to be expected. If you see a given work as an accom-plished statement, add it to your collection regardless of trends or popular taste. In collect-ing art, you must begin to do something that many of us forget how to do--trust yourself and your instincts. Beginning a collection of African American art also requires a sincere effort to gain knowledge from reading and observation. You must learn to adjust your visual perceptions to your changing levels of experience. As you understand what dif-ferentiates and identifies various media and styles of original art, you will react more critically to the strengths and shortcomings of particular oils, watercolors, collages, and prints. Chapter 2 offers a basic introduction on the distinctions between an etching and an aquatint, a lithograph and a charcoal drawing, and other media. Use the illustrations in art historical texts to evaluate their relative aesthetic and historic merit within the stylistic period in which they were pro-duced. This enables you to examine the painter's skill through a brush stroke, the application of paint to canvas, and the compositional style. Once you are armed with a solid understand-ing of the various media and how to keep abreast of the art market and have begun to go to museums and galleries, you will be ready to decide where and from whom you want to buy your fine art. Chapter 3 will guide you as to how to choose a gallery and a dealer who is reputable and with whom you are comfortable. Tasteful presentation of your new acquisi-tion is an equally essential component of all your collecting activities. An understanding of the relationship between the matte, the frame, and the picture, as well as the environment in which it will live, is the basis for proper presentation. Chapter 4 discusses several guidelines to follow in selecting a framer and how to differentiate among the countless mattes, frames, and mold-ings that will enhance what you have so carefully purchased. This is one of the most exciting aspects of bringing home a beautiful piece of art. Excerpted from Collecting African American Art: Works on Paper and Canvas by Halima Taha All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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