BOOKS: Art & Crafts
Ethiopian Art: The Walters Art Museum
Gary Vikan

The volume contains fine reproductions from the largest collection of Ethiopian art outside that country, held by the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore. A text on the life and religious practices in Ethiopia and another on the country's art history provide an introduction to the people, culture, and art of Christian Ethiopia.

Churches of Ethiopia
Mario Di Salvo

Narga Sellase's monastery was founded in 1748 and sits on a tiny islet in the middle of Lake Tana. The church is one of the masterpieces in the multi-millennial Ethiopian civilization, an ancient Christian enclave in Africa.

Art of Ethiopia
C. Griffith Mann

The hand crosses, icons and illuminated manuscripts of Ethiopian Christianity are the subject of this slim, lavishly illustrated volume, a treasure of devotional art. This carefully curated book is divided into three sections, focusing on the ornate cast iron and bronze crosses first used in church processionals during the Middle Ages; the illuminated texts that were popular from the 14th to the 16th century and then again in the late 17th and 18th; and the painted icons that had begun playing a crucial role in worship by the 15th century.

Crosses of Ethiopia
Mario Di Salvo

There is no country in the world that matches Ethiopia in the number of forms and types of its crosses. Ever since Ethiopia's conversion to Christianity, the cross has appeared almost universally, not only as a liturgical instrument in churches and monasteries, but also in common devotion and in daily life. This volume examines a multiplicity of crosses, highlighting a plurality of types as well as the relationship between one cross and another with the aim of discerning a common origin.

Ethiopian Art
Sam Fogg

The fifteenth century saw a magnificent flowering of painting in the highlands of central and northern Ethiopia – in paintings on panel and above all in manuscripts. This book features an unparalleled collection of Ethiopian Christian artifacts, mostly fifteenth-century manuscripts, icons and metalwork but also some work from the two succeeding centuries.

Art that heals: the Image as Medicine in Ethiopia
Jacques Mercier

Art That Heals examines the connection between Ethiopian scroll art and other African art, inviting the reader to consider more general rather than mere inter-ethnic relationships. If African healing art is of so much interest today it is due to its discovery or rediscovery in a world where alternative medicines are being sought and our relationship to art is being questioned - Are we only passive admirers of aestheticized objects, or might we be deeply touched and changed by the objects we create.

Ethiopian Passages: Contemporary Art from the Diaspora
Elizabeth Harney

Ethiopian Passages tells of the importance of the arts in the African diaspora and explores the important histories of migration and the myriad negotiations of artistic groups among African artists in the diaspora. This book brings together the works of ten artists of Ethiopian descent living in a Diaspora that stretches from Ethiopia to California, New York, Washington DC, and France. It presents these dramatic works of art against a backdrop of Ethiopia's fascinating and often troubled history and demonstrates how the artists' techniques and choice of material have been influenced by their experiences of displacement and by their search for a sense of identify.

Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa
Catherine Lampert

African art is often pigeonholed under the heading of tribal art. The exoticism of jungle adventure movies and anthropological photography have blinded us to the modern artists in Africa who are painting and sculpting with contemporary techniques addressing universal themes just like artists on other continents. This collection of essays accompanies a traveling exhibition of African art that opened in London. Trying to present a coherent view of the whole continent is not its aim. Instead, we are treated to a disparate group of artists and thinkers pondering various facets of the problem of integrating their African heritage with the essentially Euro-American international art world.

Ethiopia: Traditions of Creativity Edited
Raymond A. Silverman

Unlike most African art studies, this one focuses primarily on individual, named artists, wood sculptors, basket makers, metalworkers, potters, church muralists, and modern painters. Wide-ranging if not all-inclusive, the text reveals much about the scope of Ethiopia's artistry.

African Textiles: Color and Creativity Across a Continent
John Gillow

This is an authoritative survey of textile arts—unique and collectible rugs, tapestries, garments, and more—from all parts of Africa. Five sections detail the textile history and traditions of west, north, east, central, and southern Africa, examining materials, dyes, decorations, patterns, and techniques.

Vierges d'Ethiopie (Virgins of Ethiopia)
Jacques Mercier

(in French) Portraits de Marie dans la peinture éthiopienne (XII è - XIX è s.). Le portrait de Marie en couverture semble unir un Extrême-Orient d'yeux bridés avec l'Extrême-Occident du géométrisme irlandais... Quel paradoxe pour une chrétienté éthiopienne qui fut davantage et plus longtemps isolée qu'aucune autre ! En s'appuyant sur des découvertes récentes, l'auteur montre comment cette sophistication paradoxale est le fruit de développements autochtones. C'est dans l'isolement et le dénuement que les peintres éthiopiens ont le plus atteint à l'universel ! Cela se passait à la fin du XV è siècle parmi des moines et des moniales tenus pour hérétiques. Le portrait de Marie est l'image la plus vénérée par les orthodoxes tewahedo éthiopiens. L'ouvrage présente un florilège des plus belles peintures produites de 1200 à 1850 et en grande partie inédites. En introduction l'auteur étudie trois moments majeurs de l'expression picturale de la dévotion mariale : la promotion royale du portrait de Marie au XV è siècle, le martyre subi par les " hérétiques " stéphanites pour avoir refusé de se prosterner devant le portrait de Marie alors même qu'ils peignaient les plus beaux portraits mariaux de l'art éthiopien, enfin le naturalisme aristocratique au début du XVIII è siècle.

L'Art en Ethiopie
Walter Raunig

(in French) Isolée sur les hauts plateaux de l'Afrique orientale, à l'écart du monde, l'Ethiopie, bien qu'incluse dans l'Eglise orthodoxe d'Orient, a conservé intacte une religion caractéristique des premiers siècles de la chrétienté. La tradition de la peinture sacrée apparaît avec l'introduction du culte au IVe siècle sous l'empire d'Axoum (Ie-Xe siècles). Elle gardera pendant quatorze siècles une grande unité stylistique, fermée à l'illusion du volume et de la perspective. Sous la dynastie des Zagwé (1137-1270) fleurissent les plus beaux exemples d'églises et de monastères rupestres, en particulier, à travers le développement de la capitale Lalibela : ville sanctuaire, entièrement creusée dans le roc, qui se veut une imitation de Jérusalem. Tous ces sanctuaires étaient ornés de peintures, semblables à celles que les moines utilisaient pour les icônes, les évangéliaires, les enluminures et miniatures des manuscrits illustrant la vie des saints. Leur style, interprétation des traditions byzantines et coptes, est marqué par un souci de simplification perçu comme une expression de l'esprit africain.

African Dolls: For Play and for Magic
Esther Dagan

African Dolls across the continent are created for young girls to play with and as a charm to insure fertility in women. Their shape and costume vary according to region and custom. Frequently dolls are handed down from mother to daughter. Western dolls are popular in Africa and are often dressed with traditional garb. When the concept of "doll" is considered in the context of African culture, they are usually not children's playthings, but rather objects that are laden with ritual and religious associations within the community. African dolls are used to teach, and entertain, they are supernaturall intermediaries, and they are manipulated for ritual purposes. Each of these dolls are unique because they are hand made and are traditionally handed down through generations.

Isn't S/He a Doll: Play and Ritual in African Sculpture
Elisabeth Lynn Cameron & Doran H. Ross

Dr. Elisabeth Cameron explores the world of play and ritual figures that have been described as "dolls." Often used by children but sometimes also carried by women, the figures take many different forms and roles throughout the continent. The main question is why this diverse group of figures have been considered together as "dolls" by western scholars and collectors. She explores both different contexts in which dolls are used on the African continents and our own ideas about them.

Continuity and Change: Three Generations of Ethiopian Artists
Rebecca M. Nagy & Achamyeleh Debela

Continuity and Change: Three Generations of Ethiopian Artists tells the story of modern and contemporary art in Ethiopia from the 1940s to the present and explores the role Emperor Haile Selassie plays to support artists as part of a purposeful strategy for the modernization of Ethiopia. It also examines the influence of the Addis Ababa Fine Arts School, one of the leading art academies in Africa. In particular, Continuity and Change focuses on those artists who were and are active in Addis Ababa within the context of the political and social upheavals of 20th-century Ethiopia. Artists active in Addis Ababa are still largely unknown outside Ethiopia and a narrow circle of international curators and collectors. Continuity and Change introduces a number of these artists to U.S. audiences for the first time.