Arts premiers, Indiens, Eskimos, Aborigènes
Arts premiers in French is literally "first arts" and refers to what in English is primitive arts. The expression is now part of many household conversations, even though the officials at the museum of Quai Branly seem to ignore it. Following an exploration he started with Africa and Oceania, the author looks towards another ideal continent, America: the Inuit, the Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs and other less known cultures such as the Mochicas, the Calimas or the Indians from the Amazone. The text is synthetic and leaves a large place to the illustrations: traditional objects (pectoral ornaments from the Gold museum in Bogota, a two-head serpent in turquoise from the British Museum, a skull with sacrifice daggers from the museum of Mexico) as well as an engraving that shows Géronimo cutting up a buffalo or a photograph of Claude Levi-Strauss… A few boxed texts illustrate specific themes, like writing by the Mayas or the movie director François Reichenbach’s collection. A pleasant inititiation, which could work as a manual for a first visit to the new Quai Branly museum.
• Arts premiers, Indiens, Eskimos, Aborigènes, par Bérénice Geoffroy-Schneiter, éditions Assouline, ISBN : 2-84323-837-4, 2006, 30 €.(
Review published in the newsletter #9 - from 22 June 2006 to 28 June 2006