Possessions by Nicholas Thomas
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By Nicholas Thomas


Indigenous Art/Colonial Culture

By (author) See other recent books by Nicholas Thomas
Format: Paperback

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Possessions by Nicholas Thomas

Book Description

Tribal art has been one of the great inspirations of 20th-century Western art. Europeans such as Picasso, Matisse, Ernst and Brancusi created their own responses to masks, sculpture and other forms of African, Oceanic and American art. But is this a cross-cultural discovery to be celebrated, or just one more example of Western colonial appropriation? This work seeks to prove that both viewpoints are too simplistic. It focuses on the distinctive situation of the settler society - countries such as Australia and New Zealand in which large numbers of Europeans made their home, displacing but never entirely eclipsing native peoples. Settler artists and designers have drawn on indigenous motifs and styles to create art. Yet powerful indigenous art traditions have also been used to assert the presence of native peoples and their prior claim to sovereignty. Cultural exchange proves to be a two-way process, and an unpredictable one: much contemporary indigenous art draws on modern Western art, while affirming ancestral values and rejecting the European appropriation of tribal culture.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780500280973
ISBN-10: 0500280975
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publish Date: 6-Apr-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Books By Author Nicholas Thomas

Return of Curiosity by Nicholas Thomas Return of Curiosity, Paperback (July 2016)

Over the last twenty years museums have proliferated, attracting new audiences and assuming new prominence in public life. The Return of Curiosity offers a fresh perspective on museums and what they may now be good for.

Melanesia by Nicholas Thomas Melanesia, Hardback (July 2013)

The British Museums uniquely important Melanesian collection is pre-eminent among early collections, and the 20,000 items it comprises are core to understanding the cultures of the western Pacific.

Art in Oceania by Nicholas Thomas Art in Oceania, Hardback (October 2012)

The arts of Oceania are astonishing: great statues, daunting tattoos, dynamic carving, woven and painted fabrics, intricately carved weapons, and a variety of ornaments, ritual objects, and utilitarian but beautiful things. This book sets the art of Oceania in its full historical context and captures an understanding of the field.

» View all books by Nicholas Thomas


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