“The Invention of African Art”, a lecture by Christopher Steiner

In the above lecture, given at Brown University on 3 October 2013, Christopher Steiner explores the history of collecting African art and examines how early patterns of collecting gave rise to the discipline of African art history and the related formation of a rigid and highly selective canon of authenticity. Steiner discusses how the continuous recirculation of the so-called “masterworks” of African art in museum exhibitions has led to the reproduction of accepted styles in the form of tourist art and neo-traditional copies. The lecture starts at minute 3:40 with the story of Gaston de Havenon and offers a refreshing view on African art and its appreciation in the West.