Book Review

Africa

Art of a Continent

by Tom Phillips

If you had to only buy one book on African Art, this definitive book is the one to get. This is the catalogue of the groundbreaking 1995 Royal Academy ‘Africa: the Art of a continent’ exhibition, and is the most most complete book on African Art, hence its sustained popularity 23 years after its first publication

Weighing in at a massive 617 pages, and featuring over 500 works of art, it covers the whole of Africa, divided into seven areas: Egypt and Nubia, East Africa, Southern Africa, the Conho and Central Africa, West Africa, the Sahara and North Africa. Within each of these areas the objects are presented chronologically, with detailed descriptions for each illustrated object that outline their cultural and historical significance.

The scope of the book is staggering, and the selection of objects is superb, featuring masterpieces from museums and private collections around the world. It’s an essential reference book for any African Art collector and the ideal starting point for anyone wishing to get an understanding of the massive variety of artworks from this amazing continent.