The Art of New Guinea Volumes I & II|
The Art of New Guinea is the first monograph about this subject that
covers all substantial forms of expression. The book is predicated on the idea that the
art history of New Guinea is an inalienable component of its cultural history, which
has manifested itself in widely differing specific regional forms, and on the idea that
in ‘historical regions’ could be realised an identical territorial division for its art forms
covering the whole New Guinea.
Its ten non-Austronesian and six Austronesian units are presented in an interlocking
sequence. This is a suitable method for acquiring an insight into the historical
development of artistic activities, as well as a better evaluation of the historic significance
of certain art forms. For that reason The Art of New Guinea is substantially different
to former books about this subject, in which the divergences of New Guinean art
are mainly transferred to the formal plane, and the territorial classification of the
various art forms is generally established according to arbitrary or purely geographical
aspects, whereby the sequence in which they are presented reflects often outdated
scenarios of settlement history.
Centres of gravity in the book are, for example, the ‘Bergländer’ (mountainous regions
contrary to Highlands) four different regions between Mamberamo and Biri, north
and south of the great Sepik arc, inside Huon Peninsula, and around the Great Papuan
Plateau, which were presented here for the first time in an historical sequence. The
book also contains the first presentation to treat exhaustively the differentiation of
the regional art forms of the ‘North Coast’ and their relationships to the diverse
art traditions of the Sepik area.
The illustration of about 1400 pieces of art, the registers of place names and
ethnolinguistic groups and thirty-three folded maps that cover every mentioned
placename, qualify the book as a major reference work within its field.
548 illustrations in the text, 654 photographs in plates (130 in full colour)
Portrait; hardcover; 980 pages (vol. I: 622 pages; vol. II: 358 pages)
295 x 285 mm