Visions of Africa
David A. Binkley and Patricia Darish
A fascinating and essential overview of the Kuba people and their art through fifty exemplary pieces.
This volume explores the intriguing sculpture and decorative art of the Kuba people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Best known for their king figures (ndop), considered among the greatest sculptural achievements of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Kuba actually produced little freestanding sculpture. Instead, they focused on a variety of decorative works that indicated success and achievement, and initiation-related pieces such as masks.
The first book dedicated exclusively to this subject, Kuba examines the tribe’s artistic development from the 17th century through the turbulent colonial and post-colonial periods. The authors also explore the impact of Kuba beliefs on their art and discuss the pervasive concerns that inform the tribe’s art making. With 50 beautifully reproduced examples and an engaging, informative text, Kuba is a fascinating introduction to African art.
David A. Binkley was Chief Curator and Senior Curator for Research and Interpretation at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution where he developed numerous exhibitions and publications. He was also Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City.
Patricia Darish taught African art history in The Kress Foundation Department of Art History, University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas and the Kansas City Art Institute. Both received their doctoral degrees from Indiana University, conducted extensive research in the Kuba region of DRC, and have published widely on Kuba arts and culture.