African Art

Over the years, the study of African people including the African diaspora have revealed dynamic civilizations and societies. Accompanying items of material culture document a diverse people and traditions with accompanying visuals which celebrate, prestige, status, honor ancestors and used in celebrations.  With moving lexicons such as primitive art, tribal art, traditional African art, this special niche within the global art market continues to command education and guidance to understand its value and relevance.

Over time, art from the African continent and the African diaspora have increasingly found their way in important private collections and  museum holdings around the world.  Documenting its rise, a recent article said : “Tribal art’s total auction value rose from €13.7 million in 2001 to €52.8 million in 2013—then surged to €92.1 million in 2014, according to a 2015 report published by Artkhade, Art Media Agency, and Art Analytics. While figures for subsequent years have yet to be released, a handful of standout results from auction houses suggests that the upward trajectory in prices continues apace”.  See Collectors' Hunger for Trophy Works Drives Significant Increase in Tribal Art Market.

From sculptural carvings to drawings and textile, there is growing desire for art from Africa taking shape. To help guide their decisions, collectors need relevant information on the complexities of ownership including understanding and maintaining the value of these special cultural objects.  

For a confidential conversation about an analysis of owning and caring for art from Africa, contact Donna Thompson Ray.

Bamileke Head, Cameroon. 
Merton Simpson Gallery; Private Collector, Miami, Florida.

Bamileke Head, Cameroon. Merton Simpson Gallery; Private Collector, Miami, Florida.