Publications Research

The Who’s Who in African Art

An indispensable tool for anyone doing provenance research; giving short biographies of primarily Europeans and Americans who have been connected with researching and publishing on African art, as well as with collecting and selling African art, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Compiled by Guy van Rijn, the Who’s Who in African Art lists circa 18,000 names. Around 10 % of them are joined by a picture. These names have been extracted from 50 years of auction catalogues, and from approximately two thousand books and exhibition catalogues which included the names of authors, scholars, field collectors, dealers & collectors. It is not an address list, but is meant to be used as a reference guide for background information. Following the name there will be a brief description that does not aim to be conclusive at any time, e.g. authors cannot be listed with all of their publications, and therefore only one title is mentioned. It is a work in progress; every week entries are being updated and new names are being added.

Available online here and in printed format here (the 2012 edition with a beautiful cover created by the Dutch artist Ingrid Baars).



Yours truly is also listed.



Exhibtions Publications

Kongo exhibition in Leipzig

Until June 2nd you still have the chance to visit Minkisi. Skulpture vom unteren Kongo at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, Germany. The majority of the 118 objects are shown for the first time to the public. Many of them were acquired from Robert Visser, who worked for the Dutch trading company Nieuwe Afrikaansche Handels-Venootschap on the Loango coast of West Central African between 1882 and 1904. Visser sent home to Germany at least four large collections of ethnographic objects which he distributed among the ethnographic museums of Berlin, Leipzig and Stuttgart. Other minkisi in this exhibition were collected during the Loango-expedition between 1873 and 1876; in other words: well worth a visit!

Read more about it here


You can find more pictures here

The exhibition is also accompanied by a catalogue.

23 x 30 cm, 256 pages, 140 pictures
23 x 30 cm, 256 pages, 140 pictures

UPDATE: I just received the exhibition catalogue and it’s a must-have. 139 minkisi are presented, many accompanied by the original contextual information and published for the very first time. Excellent study material. In the back are another 60 figures (drawings and b/w pictures) with the figures that left the museum or were destroyed during the world wars. The book also features four informative articles: an introduction to minkisi in Englisch by Wyatt MacGaffey and three articles in German about Robert Visser, the Loango empire and the Loango-expedition.

UPDATE 2: a video tour is available on Youtube.


White gold, black hands. Vol. 6.

Volume 6 of the fantastic series Ivory Sculpture in Congo is due to be out on June 5th. A must have. This volume features articles on the Lega by Kellim Brown and Bernard de Grunne, as well as a study on non-figurative ivories of the Shi by Thomas Bayet & Pierre Loos.

Available during Bruneaf at Congo Gallery with a 50 € discount, so don’t sleep !

White Gold Black Hands vol. 6

Exhibtions Publications

Lega gems during Bruneaf 2013


June 2013 Bruneaf will host an exhibition with Lega objects from the Benoît Rousseau collection. Since he is renowned for his Lega collection, I’m very curious about this.

Picture: Bruneaf
Picture: Bruneaf

His name might ring a bell..  Claes Gallery did a small exhibition during Bruneaf 2012 with five objects from of his collection, you can see pictures of it here.

UPDATE: pictures of the exhibition on François Boulanger’s blog can be found here.