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African Art and Aesthetics, by Val-Jean Belton


Guide Entry to 98.03.02:

This unit is specifically designed for Introductory Art Classes at the High School level. The intent of this unit is to introduce students to African art and aesthetics.

This unit examines the background history of African art. In this interdisciplinary approach to teaching, the meaning of African art and aesthetics is revealed through the methodologies of analyzing art objects: description, deduction, and speculation. Teaching strategies includes class trips to the Yale Art Gallery, where students will study and observe the permanent African art collection.

The art objects analyzed include:

"Ibeji" Twin Statutes (19th c.) Yoruba Civilization, Nigeria.
"Sowo Wui Helmet" (20th c.) Mende Civilization, Sierra Leone.
"Aron Etoma Mask" (20th c.) Temne Civilization, Sierra Leone.
Included in this unit are the objectives, the elements of African art aesthetics, student drawing handouts of the objects, and an annotated bibliography. The goal is for student to get a clearer understanding of how aesthetics influences African art.

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