African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic

The project African Art History and the Formation of a Modern Aesthetic examines collections of African Modernisms that are housed in museum and university collections and to look at past, present and future connections between them. The three collections are at the Iwalewahaus at the University of Bayreuth, the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt a. M. and the Makerere Art Gallery/Institute of Heritage Conservation and Restoration (IHCR) in Kampala (Uganda). All three institutions host particularly rich collections of African Modernisms, comprising of mainly paintings, sculptures and graphic art from the early 1930s to the late 1980s. We argue that different narratives of African art history are embedded in the collections: that of the artists and that of the collectors or patrons. A broader examination of these collections and their historical connections is needed, and was the starting point of our research project, where we are now looking at single artworks as well as their composition of a given collection, the relationship of the collector to the local art-scene and artists and other related actors.

The international research group consists of Junior and Senior researchers from Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Germany and the US. The individual research projects, which will be step by step presented here, cover histories of different collections, singular artworks, the collectors and artists themselves as well as aesthetic trends within African Modernisms.

Further information: https://coamoweb.com/