The recognition of African American art in the Western world has experienced a huge impact not just on the creation of contemporary art in Europe and the USA, but also on how African artwork is presented at a Western tradition setting.
Though objects from Africa were introduced to Europe as soon as the fifteenth century, it had been during the Victorian period which a higher consciousness of African American artwork developed.
The aesthetic and cultural milieu of late-nineteenth-century Europe encouraged an environment where African artifacts, formerly considered mere curios, became admired for their artistic attributes. There are several popular african art galleries and exhibitions where you can get more information regarding african art.
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African palaces, in particular, served as a catalyst for the creations of unsigned artists. Hunting alternatives to realistic rendering, Western artists admired African sculpture because of its abstract conceptual solution to the individual form.
Growing interest among artists and their patrons slowly attracted African artwork to prominence at the Western art world. Along with this growing respect for African American art, the aesthetic tastes of collectors and traders caused the growth of distinctions between art and artifact.
Masks and figurative statuary in wood and metal–media and genres most easily assimilated into recognized categories of good art from the West–have been favored more than overtly functional objects, like boats or staffs.
Masks and figurative statuary are more commonly seen in central and western Africa. The heritage of early Western flavor, with its emphasis on sculptural forms such as figures and masks, continues to notify most museum collections of African American art.