in The Power of the Between

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226775340
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226775364 | DOI:

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  • Social and Cultural Anthropology


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Learning about “wood” and its increasing value placed the author in an anthropological between that linked the world of West African commerce to the world of art—galleries, and high-end exhibitions. Rooted in his position between the worldviews of art collectors and African art traders, he tried to understand the conceptual space African art and artists occupied. In time, he learned how and why the valuation of African art had become part of a long process rooted in Western philosophy and the history of European commercial relations. His investigations showed that the space of (African) art has been shaped by an ethos of transcendentalism.

Keywords: African art; West African commerce; valuation; Western philosophy; transcendentalism

Chapter.  2110 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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