Photo/Penn State and Torbakhopper

African Art Sales Are Up Sharply – Then They Go To Be Forgotten In Museums And Galleries

LAST year, it was reported that over the previous four years the value of African art had risen by a mouth-watering 200%.

However, perhaps not all of it moves then moves on to a place of pride in a museum or gallery, at least in the US, according to Torbakhopper who made a strikingly despondent post on Flickr after a visit to the De Young Museum in San Francisco sometime back.

“African wings in museums, similar to modern art wings, are often ENTIRELY empty”, he said in a post accompanying a photo from an Africa exhibition.

“Like funeral homes from people’s ideals, they are rarely visited.

“They are “gestures” to our slave-based interpretations of culture and history and our “debt”.

“And, oddly enough, decorator outlets sold more ‘African art’ than anybody could possibly collect in the 1990s.

“So most ‘African art’ is either in thrift stores now next to the kokopellis from Santa Fe, New Mexico, or collecting dust in someone’s house just like it is taking up space and collecting dust in major American museums”.

Do you agree? Send us your comments and experiences of African art in the part of the world where you live.

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