Essay on Africa's Influence on Western Art

Essay on Africa's Influence on Western Art

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Africa's Influence on Western Art

During the mid 19th century up until the Great War of 1914, European countries began to heavily colonize and come into contact with African nations. This was called "new imperialism". During this contact, European culture was influenced by Africa. The influence of the African people can be seen in the European society of the time. In the 19th and 20th centuries, modern artists embraced African art for its lack of pretension or formal qualities.
In the latter part of the 19th century, the "scramble for Africa," consolidated at the Berlin Conference, divided the terrain of the African continent among the numerous European contenders. Fourteen countries were represented by a plethora of ambassadors when the conference opened in Berlin on November 15, 1884. The countries represented at the time included Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden-Norway (unified from 1814-1905), Turkey, and the United States of America. Of these fourteen nations, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Portugal were the major players in the conference, controlling most of colonial Africa at the time. At the point of the symposium, only the coastal parts of Africa had been colonized. The idea behind the conference was to also annex control over the resource rich interior.
As a result of the scramble, the British received control over Egypt, Sudan Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, as well as, Nigeria and Ghana. The French acquired, much of western Africa, from Mauritania to Chad, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Italians established power in Ethiopia and Soma...


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5. Pemberton II, John. Insight And Artistry in African Divination. London, England, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.
6. Cole, Harns, Poynor, Visoná. A History Of Art In Africa. Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2001
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