Book summary: This massive and lavishly illustrated volume documents a new permanent display at the Louvre of some 120 masterpieces of African, Asian, Oceanic, and America art--the precursor of the Musee du Quai Branly to be opened in 2004. Large color photographs present multiple views of each sculpture, and are accompanied by historical photographs of the objects when first collected and as displayed in museums and French artists' studios.
The philosophy behind this project is to affirm that no individual exists outside of culture and there is no hierarchy among cultures. The Louvre display and new museum are committed to preserving and presenting in the most dignified and respectful way possible the great works of humanity's cultural heritage. The book documenting the exhibition reveals the manifest participation of extra-Western civilizations in the humanist legacy, made accessible at last through a few of these civilizations' most perfectly realized creations. These artists and their works speak to us across the centuries.
Jacques Kerchache is scientific adviser to the Musé du Quai Branly, Paris. The book includes contributions by 48 scholars, among them Robert Farris Thompson, Gregory Forth, Perkins Foss, Michael Gunn, Carol S. Ivory, Adrienne L. Kaeppler, Douglas Newton, Esther Pasztory, Leon Siroto, and Richard F. Townsend.