Bamana masks and headdresses, Lega ivories, Dogon sculpture, and Benue bronzes are among the many exquisite African artifacts found in the renowned Menil Collection. This stunning book—the first comprehensive catalogue on the de Menils' collection of African art—features 115 of the museum’s finest pieces. Dating primarily from the 19th and 20th centuries, these works come from North Africa and the Sahel, Coastal West Africa, and Central and East Africa.
An essay by scholar Kristina Van Dyke discusses the formation of the collection, which was inspired in part by its relationship to modernist works and by the couple’s interest in human rights. This insightful text also explains how the de Menils' visionary spirit was influenced by African art and places those objects within the context of the whole of the de Menils’ collection, in which works from ancient, Byzantine, medieval, modern, Oceanic, and Native American cultures speak to the universal struggle for human understanding. Entries for the selected works were written by leading scholars in the field and are grouped into sections based on regions.