Term Paper: Ancient Egyptian Art

Pages: 16 (4742 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Topic: Art  (general)  ·  Buy This Paper

Visual Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora From Ancient Egyptian Art to Contemporary Times

Thutmosis III wearing the Atef crown.

From the Temple of Amun at Deir el-Bahri (mid-15th c. B.C.)

Toussaint l'Overture Series 1937 by Jacob Lawrence

From Rhapsodies in Black)

First, in response to the questions concerning the rules of creating a Works Cited list and its function in academic writing, as well as what an Annotated Bibliography and its value is:

What is an Annotated Bibliography and what is its value in academic writing?

Annotated Bibliography is a list of citations to books, articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited (Olin 1).

For MLA, the list is alphabetical by last names of authors. Each reference is in this order: the name of the author, last name first, is followed by a period. The article name is in quotation marks, with only the first word capitalized. The name of the book or journal is then underlined, followed by the volume and number of the journal with the date in parentheses, followed by a colon and the page numbers. A period follows.

What are the basic rules for creating a Works Cited list and what is its function in academic writing?

The function of the Works Cited list is to give all the information a person reading the paper might need to find the work cited in the text. Within the text only the name of the author and the page (with perhaps a date, if there are more than one works by one author) are found within a parentheses. To not credit a writer for their work is to plagiarize or to intentionally or unintentionally take the words of someone else as one's own, so whenever one paraphrases, summarizes, quotes or refers to someone else's work, that source should be credited with a citation and a reference at the end of the paper.

Bibliography

Not only does the continent of Africa put forth African Art, the continents to which the African people were taken or immigrated to, also produce African Art, including Brazil, the Caribbean and the United States. These non-African continental artists are called the African diaspora and their art is African diaspora art. African art takes as its subject mainly the human figure, though animals also are treated. Although observers tend to generalize when they speak of traditional African art, the continent of Africa and its people are made up of many people and civilizations and the art that developed within each of these is unique.

There are a multitude of articles that date before 1995, including some famous books and articles, such as Arna Bontemps' Drums at Dusk, (1939) but this research shall limit itself to those publications that date since 1995. The following are some recent articles and books that have been written on the subject:

REVIEWS

Sasser's book, the World of Spirits and Ancestors: In the Art of Western SubSaharan Africa, talks first about the lands and people of Western Sub-Saharan Africa, from the landscape to the religions. The place of the people in this land and how their art describes this is well put in this book about the Dogon and the Senafo. In Chapter Three Sasser discusses the craftsmen, materials, techniques and aesthetics of the artisans. The masks of the Dogon are finally discussed, as are the carved and metal cast figures. There are notes on the Elliot Howard Collection of African Art written by Ethelene Bucy added to the end of the book.

This source relates to the topic of Ancient Egyptian Art in that the collections are about ancient art done on the north part of the continent of Africa, which includes Egypt, therefore the collections include Egyptian art. It has good illustrations and descriptions of what was included in the exhibits, which contained photos of some of the pieces. There was information available about the connections between this ancient art and contemporary African-American art in the notes at the end of the book. The social climate when the art was created is discussed in the book and was described in connection with contemporary art.

Sasser discusses the mythological bases of the Nigerian art, with descriptions of the masks, the writings and the rituals that are found among the various peoples who live the northern desert steppe, the southern savannas, and the cultivated agricultural lands in the deeper south, which were colonized by the French. Within the Senafo culture are the lands of Mali, the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Once rich with vegetation, with the land providing prosperously, the people created wood-carving and metalworking that was carefully cultivated by the cultures through training of apprentices and by honoring master craftsmen. The work that came out of this land was unique to it and rich in heritage, so that now they are much in demand.

Powell and Bailey's book, Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance, (San Francisco: University of California Press, published 30 Sep 1997). is one about how the Harlem Renaissance brought literature, music, theater, sculpture, photography, graphic design, dance, painting and film into the limelight, showing not only New York black artists, but artists from the Caribbean, Europe and other parts of the United States were masters of Modernism. They describe "The New Negro," Blues, Jazz and the Performative Paradigm, Africa, the Cult of the Primitive and Lawrence's Toussaint L'Ouverture series, which arose from 1919 to 1938 to bedazzle the world with the brightness of these talents. Harlem became the center of the art world for such kinds of art, bringing the world attention to the reawakening and creating an historic moment in art history.

This book shows how the art of the Africans was very similar in style and colors to the ancient art from Africa, including Egypt. This was a book that was rich in literature and illustrations and was an excellent source of the topic chosen. This brought new information into the picture of similarities of the two cultures. See the first page of this paper for an example of an illustration from this book and how similar it is to the picture of Thutmosis III from ancient Egypt.

The Sasser book may be an important source for a study such as this, in that it truly treats the art of the modern Black artist that lived during the 1930's, during the important era called the Renaissance of Black Art. In their book, Powell and Bailey look at how Harlem helped a "Re/Birth of a Nation." They also treat the subjects of "Voodoo MacBeth (an article by Simon Callow), Josephine Baker (an article by Andrea Barnwell), Paul Robeson and the problem of "modernism," (an article by Jeffrey Stewart), modern tones (an article by Paul Gilroy) and other subjects having to do with the arts and the Harlem Renaissance.

Powell and Bailey give a history of the era, showing how the migration of the blacks into the Northern cities after the First World War brought not only new hope to those who came, but also brought talented writers, musicians, artists and sculptors and gave them an environment to thrive in. They show that the Renaissance did not just happen in Harlem, but wherever black artists were during those years, including Chicago and the deep South. With a selection of readings and descriptions, they show how this phenomenon reached into every art and still influences them today. The author relates how the project initially grew from an interest in Lawrence's "The Migration Series" relating how during 1940 and 1941, Lawrence created a series of sixty paintings in tempera chronicling the twentieth century exodus of African-Americans from the South to the North (Powell 11).

This book relates very well to the topic chosen in that it treats both the past history and the present state of the arts of African-Americans, though it does not refer to Ancient Egypt. It has graphic illustrations, photographs and descriptions of African-American art that are in color and describe how it is related to the past and the modern culture that was in vogue during the 1930s. It described new art pieces that were developed during that era and demonstrated how they related to the past and the current culture of the day. It was a wonderful source of description for the social climate of the 1930s.

Jacob H. Carruthers gave a talk at London's Karnak House in 1995, and excerpts from this speech are now available as an article on the internet. In this presentation, Carruthers has read "The Instructions of Ptahhotep" and talks about the life of the Pharaoh who wrote it. It was the teachings of this Pharaoh that had inspired Carruthers to bring this ancient literature and the implications of the culture and art it depicted, into the present. He said that the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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