The Auctions Database of Ancient Arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Paris, 4 September 2017
Stratospheric-level auctions, overheated prices… The market for archaeological and tribal pieces is booming! We retrace the phenomenon of star status for these highly coveted objects. An issue that we examine by seeing what dealers, collectors and members of the scientific community have to say…
Ever since the start of the 2000s, the tribal-art market has literally exploded, with its turnover jumping up from €13.7 million in 2001 to €92.1 in 2014. Despite this strong growth, tribal art remains a marginal market, which represents only 0.68 % of the global turnover of art auction sales, in other words, 40 times less than the proportion occupied by modern art, according to a report published by Artkhade and Art Analytics in December 2015.
Largely in front, Africa and Oceania leave other geographical zones behind in the shadows. Between 2000 and 2014, these two continents represented 64.8 % of lots offered at auctions and 81 % of the sector’s total sales proceeds. Above all, the market’s growth has been accompanied by a [.../...]See more
Brussels, 4 September 2017
D.C.: The market has evolved considerably in the last decade. With the first major public sales of African art, for example the sale of the Hubert Goldet collection in 2001, works reached heights sometimes going over the million-euro mark, which was something completely new. Next, let’s not forget that the major auction houses would traditionally organise their sales in Amsterdam, London or New York. Now, Sotheby’s and Christie’s each hold two African-art sales per year in Paris. Fairs such as the Parcours des Mondes or the BRUNEAG, its Brussels twin, have also expanded. But the main triggering phenomenon was the inauguration of the Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, a great step for the acceptance of this art. For dealers, the role of these institutions is primordial as they enable offering a less ethnographic view of these collections; the public would now see an African-art object as it would see a painting. And we hope to obtain the same impact in Belgium with the [.../...]See more
Paris, 3 September 2017
To celebrate the 40th birthday of the Musée Barbier-Mueller, the Biennale Paris is welcoming a selection of 130 works from this Swiss family’s personal collections. An opportunity to retrace a passion and a saga.
For the Barbier-Muellers, collecting is part of the family history… It started off with the grandfather, Josef Mueller, then continued with the mother, Monique, the father, Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller, and today the three sons, Gabriel, Stéphane, Thierry, as well as Diane, one of the granddaughters. Four generations of collectors that the Biennale Paris has chosen to honour through a selection of works from their collection, some of which have never been unveiled to the public. “The idea was to set up a dialogue between major pieces from four generations of collectors with very different tastes by recreating the atmosphere of Josef Mueller’s apartment, where modern paintings stood alongside primitive-art objects,” is the way that Laurence Mattet, director of the Musée Barbier-Mueller in Geneva, puts it. Sculptures and [.../...]See more
Paris, 3 September 2017
A.d.M.: First of all, the fact that it’s gathered very coherent sets of objects, as precious as they’re simple. The archaeological bronzes of the Vietnamese Dông Son civilisation comes to mind, but also the African chairs, a legacy of Josef Mueller that Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller took care to add to. It’s also a universal collection which gathers objects from Africa as well as Oceania or Indonesia. Not forgetting its Pre-Columbian art objects which comprise a key collection. It’s also exceptional for the rarity of certain pieces that are listed nowhere else… and for the beauty that unites all the objects.
A.d.M.: For his eye that was so unique and accurate… and his great erudition. Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller was a cultivated man who left nothing to chance. When he started up a collection, he invested in it entirely. He studied every object, consulted the best ethnologists and historians. He [.../...]See more
Paris, 3 September 2017
A new formula for a historic fair. This year, La Biennale Paris is engaging in a rebirth that remains highly respectful of tradition. See it for yourself at the Grand Palais, until 17 September. The planet’s most elegant fair, riding on its heritage, opens up to new horizons.
“Confidence, confidence, confidence!” This could be – if one were needed – the motto of this 29th edition of the Biennale, formerly known as the Biennale des Antiquaires, currently on at the Grand Palais until 17 September… And it’s not Christopher “Kip” Forbes, chairman of this new opus, who will say the contrary. “La Biennale Paris is the most important fair in its field in France, and one of the most important in the world,” claims the American billionaire who, this year, succeds Henri Loyrette, former president of the Louvre. “I’ll try to keep up the level of excellence established by my eminent predecessors and I hope to contribute to making this edition of the Biennale the most brilliant one to ever exist.” The stakes have been set… Will [.../...]See more
Paris, 1st September 2017
Sophie Makariou, president of the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques, takes the mike. An hour on cultural policy, the transmission of knowledge, redeployment of the collections. Between heritage and contemporaneousness…
Her itinerary is impeccable, her character resilient… Studies in classical Arabic at Langues’O, followed by the École du Louvre, a postgraduate diploma in history, then the École du Patrimoine… Sophie Makariou is a woman in a hurry. She’s said to be “difficult”; above all, she’s a hard worker whose cutting intelligence has led her, in the space of a few years, to hold the reins of one of the finest Parisian museums. A heritage curator who directed the department of Islamic arts at the Louvre from 2009 to 2013, she has been president of the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques for four years now. As the new school year starts, making allusions to a “new impetus”, she outlines for us the major areas of her cultural policy.
Besanceuil, 14 March 2017
Jean-François Schmitt is an art-lover and collector. He is a Friend of the musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and a member of the Cercle Lévi-Strauss.
Anthony Meyer is a dealer, author, and specialist in Pacific and Eskimo ancient arts and traditional cultures. He manages the Meyer Gallery of Oceanic Arts in Paris and is one of the founders of the Bourgogne Tribal Show, along with Laurent Dodier, Bruno Frey, Jacques Lebrat and Bruno Mory.
For its second event, the Bourgogne Tribal Show will take place from 25th to 28th May, 2017. You both took part in the fair’s first event, one as a dealer, one as a collector. Could you share your experiences with us?
Jean-François Schmitt: My abiding memory of the first event is what a pleasure it was to see tribal art in less conventional settings. The atmosphere was very different from the other fairs, far more casual and convivial.
Its location in the Burgundy region was ideal too, [.../...]See more
Brussels, 20 January 2017
In Brussels this January, over four thousand years of art will be making their way to BRAFA. From archaeology to contemporary creation, this is not only a major European event, but a place to sound out the art market as a new year begins.
In January, after getting back from New Year’s Eve at Saint-Barthélemy, when nothing else seems to quite make the grade, not even a little omelette dotted with Alba white truffles, a quick dash to Brussels is just the thing! Why favour a Flemish destination, you might well ask? A yearning for the Belgian touch in the heart of winter? The timeless charm of the Place de Brouckère? Let’s put it this way: at the start of the year, the chicest rendezvous — one month after Art Basel on the coast of Florida in December, and shortly before the Armory Show in New York in March — is obviously BRAFA. Also known as the Brussels Art Fair, one of the oldest art and antiques fairs in the world. So much to say, the most stunning Brussels invention… just after the Délirium Café and its 3,000 beers.
**So let’s [.../...]See more
Paris, 9 January 2017
Majestic and beautiful looking twins, natives of Ishokun, Let me find means of eating, let me find means of drinking. Majestic and beautiful looking twins, come and give me the blessing of a child.
According to Yoruba legend, the ibeji—united and inseparable twins—were sent into the world by monkeys, whose knowledge of nature’s secrets surpassesthat of men. Regarded as sacred, they are venerated in a cult based on statuettes, the ere ibeji, which are commissioned from master sculptors by the families of the deceased twins. The eighty works from Benin and Nigeria presented in this book reflect the incredible stylistic diversity and beauty of these silent symbols of an ageold tradition—an eloquent expression of the creative potential of African art.
Geneva, 9 December 2016
Until 8 January 2017, the Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève is playing host to “Amazonia, The Shaman and the Mind of the Forest”. An ethnographic exhibition that can also be described as… a political act.
Amazonia remains a poor relative in the world of art exhibitions and ethnography. Preference goes to Pre-Columbian art, Mayan, Aztec or Incan cultures — all far more likely to get crowds through the doors. In recent years, exhibitions in Europe on Amazonia can be counted on the fingers of one hand — the British Museum in 2001, the Mona Bismarck Foundation in 2002 or the Grand Palais in 2005, to name the most important ones. “I want to stir things up, heuristically speaking,” exclaims Boris Wastiau, director of the Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève (MEG) and curator of the exhibition. “Amazonia, The Shaman and the Mind of the Forest” sets out to get things moving and offer reparation for an injustice.
What will we find at this exhibition in Geneva? An introduction to the region, which blends voices from the present day to those [.../...]See more