Alfred Antony Francis Gell 1945–1997

Alan Macfarlane

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 120, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, II

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780197263020
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734199 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Alfred Antony Francis Gell 1945–1997

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Alfred Gell was widely regarded as one of the most interesting thinkers in the world in the field of the anthropology of art. His life and writings provide an interesting insight into the fashions and flows of one part of British thought in the later 20th century. While Gell will be remembered as the author of the classic ethnography on the Umeda and a splendid survey of theories of time, it is the work on art and anthropology, undertaken during the last twelve years of his short life, which will determine his wider reputation. This consists of three books. The first, and only one published during his life was Wrapping in Images: Tattooing in Polynesia (1992). The second in order of writing, though not of publication, was a collection of his essays, mostly given as seminar papers and lectures, published in 1999 as The Art of Anthropology; Essays and Diagrams and edited by Eric Hirsch. The final work was Art and Agency, An Anthropological Theory (1998).

Keywords: anthropologists; anthropology; art; Umeda; Wrapping in Images

Chapter.  9779 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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