Book Review

Baule Monkeys

by Bruno Claessens and Jean-Louis Danis

Baule Monkeys

Baule tribal art is famous for its very refined masks and sculptures. A relatively unknown aspect of Baule art are the roughly carved bowl bearing monkey figures often incorrectly described as Gbekre.

Bruno Claessens, European Head of African and Oceanic Art at Christie’s, makes an important leap forward in understanding these powerful figures with this monograph. Extensively footnoted and with 118 gorgeous illustrations, this book explores the creation and usage of the bowl bearing monkeys, and sheds new light on their ritual and cultural context

The book features figures from the Africarium Collection (founded by co author Jean-Louis Danis) and a further 40 monkey figures from public and private collections worldwide on beautifully photographed full page spreads.

You can read a short excerpt from the book on the origin of the word Gbekre here and why it is incorrectly used for these monkey figures on Bruno Claessens’ website.