“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.