Column to Volume: Formal Innovation in Chamba Statuary: v. 1 (BOK)
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"Column to Volume: Formal Innovation in Chamba Statuary" investigates the appearance on world art markets during the 1970s of statues identified as Chamba from West Africa. Sought after for their artful execution, these statues were stylistically unlike anything previously documented from the region. Are they what the art market claimed? Who made them, when, where and why? To answer these questions, Richard Fardon and Christine Stelzig had to combine the findings of ethnographic research in Cameroon and Nigeria with museum and archival research and the testimonies of art dealers and collectors. Profusely illustrated, "Column to Volume" offers a comprehensive account of an important sculptural tradition in West Africa, as well as fascinating insights into the tribal branding, distribution, and copying, of African art works during the 1970s. Identifying formal innovation in what has been described as 'tribal' tradition, not least by tracing the individual sculptor irresponsible for the most valued Chamba statues, this account by Fardon and Stelzig will transform readers' appreciation of Chamba sculpture. More than this, their collaboration provides an instructive example of a fresh kind of inter-disciplinary and multi-sited investigation that integrates local context of use, collection histories, art markets and formal artistic appreciation to reflect the local and global context through African artefacts circulated during the 20th century.