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The Anthropology of Art: A Reader

Howard Morphy (Editor), Morgan Perkins (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-0562-0
578 pages
February 2006, ©2006, Wiley-Blackwell
The Anthropology of Art: A Reader (1405105623) cover image
This anthology provides a single-volume overview of the essential theoretical debates in the anthropology of art. Drawing together significant work in the field from the second half of the twentieth century, it enables readers to appreciate the art of different cultures at different times.

  • Advances a cross-cultural concept of art that moves beyond traditional distinctions between Western and non-Western art.
  • Provides the basis for the appreciation of art of different cultures and times.
  • Enhances readers’ appreciation of the aesthetics of art and of the important role it plays in human society.
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Acknowledgments.

Introduction: The Anthropology of Art: A Reflection on Its History and Contemporary Practice: Howard Morphy and Morgan Perkins.

Part I: Framing the Discipline:.

Introduction.

1. Primitive Art: Franz Boas.

2. Split Representation in the Art of Asia and America: Claude Lévi-Strauss.

3. Tribes and Forms in African Art: William Fagg.

4. Style, Grace, and Information in Primitive Art: Gregory Bateson.

5. Tikopea Art and Society: Raymond Firth.

6. The Abelam Artist: Anthony Forge.

Part II: Primitivism and Art/Artifact:.

Introduction.

7. Introduction. In “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern: William Rubin.

8. “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art: Arthur C. Danto.

9. Histories of the Tribal and the Modern: James Clifford.

10. A Case in Point: Sally Price.

11. Oriental Antiquities/Far Eastern: Craig Clunas.

12. Introduction. In ART/Artifact: Susan Vogel.

13. Vogel's Net: Traps as Artworks and Artworks as Traps: Alfred Gell.

Part III: Aesthetics Across Cultures:.

Introduction.

14. Yoruba Artistic Criticism: Robert Farris Thompson.

15. Style in Technology: Some Early Thoughts: Heather Lechtman.

16. “Marvels of Everyday Vision”: The Anthropology of Aesthetics and the Cattle-Keeping Nilotes: Jeremy Coote.

17. From Dull to Brilliant: The Aesthetics of Spiritual Power Among the Yolngu: Howard Morphy.

Part IV: Form, Style and Meaning:.

Introduction.

18. Visual Categories: An Approach to the Study of Representational Systems: Nancy D. Munn.

19. Structural Patterning in Kwakiutl Art and Ritual: Abraham Rosman and Paula G. Rubel.

20. Sacred Art and Spiritual Power: An Analysis of Tlingit Shaman’s Masks: Aldona Jonaitis.

21. To Weave and Sing: Art, Symbol, and Narrative in the South American Rain Forest: David M. Guss.

22. Modernity and the “Graphicalization” of Meaning: New Guinea Highland Shield Design in Historical Perspective: Michael O’Hanlon.

Part V: Marketing Culture:.

Introduction.

23. Introduction. In Ethnic and Tourist Arts: Cultural Expressions of the Fourth World: Nelson H. H. Graburn.

24. The Collecting and Display of Souvenir Arts: Authenticity and the “Strictly Commercial”: Ruth B. Phillips.

25. The Art of the Trade: The Creation of Value and Authenticity in the African Art Market: Christopher B. Steiner.

Part VI: Contemporary Artists:.

Introduction.

26. A Second Reflection: Presence and Opposition in Contemporary Maori Art: Nicholas Thomas.

27. Representing Culture: The Production of Discourse(s) for Aboriginal Acrylic Paintings: Fred Myers.

28. Aesthetics and Iconography: An Artists Approach: Gordon Bennett.

29. Kinds of Knowing: Charlotte Townsend-Gault.

30. CEW ETE HAW I TIH: The Bird That Carries Language Back to Another: Jolene Rickard.

Index

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Howard Morphy is Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at the Australian National University and Honorary Curator of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

Morgan Perkins is Associate Professor of Anthropology and of Art, Director of the Weaver Museum of Anthropology, and Director of the Museum Studies Program, at SUNY, Potsdam
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  • A single-volume overview of the essential theoretical debates in the anthropology of art, ideal for those who are new to the subject.

  • Draws together significant work in the field from the second half of the twentieth century.

  • Advances a cross-cultural concept of art that moves beyond traditional distinctions between Western and non-Western art.

  • Provides the basis for the appreciation of art of different cultures and times.

  • Enhances readers’ appreciation of the aesthetics of art and of the important role it plays in human society.
See More
The Anthropology of Art is a superb compilation that enables both scholar and student to have in one volume the major studies and debates in this discipline. In the insightful introduction, the editors survey the history of the field and tackle the vexing problem of defining art in cross-cultural perspective.”
Ivan Karp, Emory University


“An excellent, near-perfect book that demonstrates the centrality of the anthropology of art in both anthropology and art history debates. The essential reader for anyone who wants a broad, stimulating introduction to the field.”
Jeremy MacClancy, Oxford Brookes University“Addresses significant debates … .Seems[s] to provide an understanding of the often subtle but underlying discourse on contemporary African art.” H-Net Reviews<!--end-->

"A unique and timely manual that serves to connect the student with the creative impulse of man."
The Electric Review

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