Synopses & Reviews
The Wonders of Africa provides a generous overview of the wealth of African art held in Italian collections. Works are examined under four themed chapters: Collections, Masks, Fetishes and Invisibles (i.e. representations of folkloric creatures such as bush spirits). The volume brings a particular awareness of the migration of objects to bear upon this overview, highlighting the history of Italian collecting of African art, and the flow of African art into Italy-particularly Genoa-from the sixteenth century onward. Underwriting this historical emphasis is of course the politics of this migration, and the construction of Africa in the European imagination, which this volume addresses in several essays by leading scholars in the field. Most of the works reproduced in The Wonders of Africa have never been exhibited or published.