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Art Treasures from African Runners

by John R. Rohner

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African "runners" appeared on the Western art scene shortly after the 1967-1970 Biafran Civil War, when they began exporting artifacts to Europe and America. These native-born dealers, who procure art in Africa through family or business connections, are the major sources to overseas customers of old tribal art, the supply of which is rapidly dwindling. Art Treasures From African Runners features an eclectic collection of more than nine hundred never-before-published photographs of African an and describes the methods of the runners who brought these objects to America.A collector with hands-on knowledge of the African art trade, John R. Rohner presents African art from a fresh angle, offering a fascinating portrait of cultural contrast as he defines the differences between African and Western art dealers and details his own experiences with runners. His personal anecdotes give life to the images collected in this remarkable assemblage, which is the result of twelve years spent selecting a broad range of objects of wood, bone, ivory, metal, stone, animal hide, textiles, and ceramics from the vans of the runners. Rohner's collection represents the work of more than one hundred African tribes -- from as far west as the Bissagos Islands and as far east as Tanzania and Madagascar -- and showcases many rare and unusual pieces, including a number from unknown origins that will be of interest to Africanists.Offering a wealth of comparative information, Art Treasures From African Runners is ideal for the collector as well as the general reader with an interest in African art.… (more)
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African "runners" appeared on the Western art scene shortly after the 1967-1970 Biafran Civil War, when they began exporting artifacts to Europe and America. These native-born dealers, who procure art in Africa through family or business connections, are the major sources to overseas customers of old tribal art, the supply of which is rapidly dwindling. Art Treasures From African Runners features an eclectic collection of more than nine hundred never-before-published photographs of African an and describes the methods of the runners who brought these objects to America.A collector with hands-on knowledge of the African art trade, John R. Rohner presents African art from a fresh angle, offering a fascinating portrait of cultural contrast as he defines the differences between African and Western art dealers and details his own experiences with runners. His personal anecdotes give life to the images collected in this remarkable assemblage, which is the result of twelve years spent selecting a broad range of objects of wood, bone, ivory, metal, stone, animal hide, textiles, and ceramics from the vans of the runners. Rohner's collection represents the work of more than one hundred African tribes -- from as far west as the Bissagos Islands and as far east as Tanzania and Madagascar -- and showcases many rare and unusual pieces, including a number from unknown origins that will be of interest to Africanists.Offering a wealth of comparative information, Art Treasures From African Runners is ideal for the collector as well as the general reader with an interest in African art.

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