Multcolib Research Picks: Oceanic Art
Annotation:Stunning book of images, that explores the role of history and social change in relation to the art of Oceania, placing the sculpture and other arts in context to ceremonial uses with interviews, photographs and quotations.
Annotation:A short book that is a well written account of Oceanic art of past and present. Good color images and a useful chronology of the history of the clusters of islands that comprise Oceania.
Annotation:Fascinating book about the traditional cultural traditions of the Asmat people of New Guinea, for whom all objects, for warfare or domestic life, are named for ancestors. "Traditionally, the cultural life of the village followed a continuous cycle of warfare, and bloody raids were periodically necessary to replenish the spiritual energy of the community. The woodcarver's art, too, played a very important role in this cycle." - from the Introduction.
Annotation:The author has written an introduction to the history of Oceanic cultures that within a few pages is an excellent history of the interweaving threads of traditions and change in forms of art. The primary organization of the book, however, shows a large, color illustration of a sculpture with a description of how it was made, symbolism, and uses.
Annotation:Catalog of sculptures, musical instruments, masks, and tools, created for ceremonies and depicting human forms in a wide array of dramatic imagery.
Annotation:Accounts of Cook's travels in the South Pacific, circa 1769, illustrated with engravings of the voyages and maps published during that era.
Annotation:Close-up photography of historic artifacts and contemporary art of the South Pacific, that is useful for anyone interested in learning more about the designs carved into wood, or integrated into textiles.
Annotation:Definition of art: "We treat our artworks as people because many of them represent our ancestors who for us are real persons....They are anchor points in our genealogies and in our history. Without them we have no position in society and we have no social reality. We form with them the social universe of Maoridom." - Sidney Moko Mead, p. 57.
Annotation:Catalog of a museum collection, consisting of photography of village rituals, dance, sculpture and creators of these works. Dramatic photography of the fascinating and complex art of Oceania.
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"The people of the Pacific have always created powerful things. Carvings, textiles and architecture, as well as dance, oratory and other performing arts, are all visually potent and have often been about managing the flow of power through people and the land." - from Pacific Art in Detail by Jenny Newell. This reading list is a selection of books from Central Library that chronicle the history, symbolism and use in ritual of these fascinating art works.