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Modern African Art : A Basic Reading List


Southern Africa : Namibia

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National Art Gallery of Namibia. Art in Namibia: National Art Gallery of Namibia / Adelheid Lilienthal; with contributions by Annaleen Eins and Jo Rogge. [Windhoek]: The Gallery, c1997. xiv, 242pp. illus. (pt. color), map, bibliog. (pp. 223-224). N3885.W54A54 1997X AFA. OCLC 38731937.

The National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN) is a private initiative begun in 1965 with the establishment of a permanent collection. It grew out of the Namibian Arts Association (formed in 1947), which is devoted to promoting all the arts. Since independence in 1990, the activities and programs of the NAGN have broadened considerably to reflect the breadth and possibilities of art in Namibia, which previously had been in all-white affair.

The organization of the catalog Art in Namibia mirrors this transition from colonial state to independent nation. One whole section is devoted to landscape and wildlife art, a genre which predominated in earlier decades of this century and still forms a sub-stratum of Namibian art. "Traditional Transitions" brings in indigenous craft art of the ethnographie variety -- basketry, pottery, woodwork, personal ornaments and the like. But the major section showcases "Contemporary Artists," where white artists still predominate, but younger black artists are well represented.

Three significant new initiatives which are injecting vigor and dynamism into the Namibian art scene are the Standard Bank Namibia Biennale, the Tulipamwe International Artists' Workshop, and the John Muafangejo Art Centre.

Appendices to Art in Namibia include a chronology of the history of the Namibian Arts Association and the NAGN; listings of art education centers, funders and sponsors, teachers and mentors; artists represented in the permanent collection of NAGN; and museums in Namibia. A short chapter on rock art in Namibia is also included. Annaleen Eins, Curator of NAGN, introduces the volume.