Our venues

Blog

Posts tagged with 'Africa'

A collector’s eye: OSPAAAL posters

14 February 2017 by Sarah

Day of Solidarity with the People of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, 1968. By Berta Abelenda Fernandez. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

Mike Tyler is the collector and architect who owns the striking array of 32 Organisation in Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL) posters currently on display in our Art of Solidarity exhibition. We asked Mike what he looks for when adding to the collection:

“The bulk of my collection dates from OSPAAAL’s founding in 1966 to the mid 70s, which is referred to as the ‘Golden Period’ of Cuban poster art. It is no coincidence this was a time of great political and social unrest with the civil rights movement, Vietnam War, Watergate scandal and struggles against apartheid all providing fuel to creative fire.

Many collectors are interested in the politics whilst some have an affinity with Cuba. For me, the appeal is their artistic merit, which has long been revered in the world of both propaganda art and graphic design. In terms of desirability, there is a big collectors market for civil rights and Black power material so these posters command the highest demand. Posters featuring Che, Nixon or the more well know conflicts such as the Vietnam War have a broader appeal. Then you have the more renowned artists such as Alfredo Rostgaard, Rene Menderos, Jesus Forjans & Faustino Perez who created some of the most iconic posters.

Day of Solidarity with the Congo, 1972 by Alfrédo Juan González Rostgaard. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

In terms of the actual posters, given they are paper and were designed to put up on walls, that means stains, tears, holes etc are to be expected. Considering their age, the fact they even exist is impressive but for the serious collectors condition is important.  Provided they aren’t too bad, I don’t mind a few scars as they show they have been used as intended. The posters were issued folded within Tricontinental magazine so for me fold-lines are a good thing as it implies they are originals rather than later print runs.

I also like to know a little about the person who owned the posters before me. To date I’ve dealt with musicians, activists, curators, journalists, TV presenters, antique book dealers and even the artists themselves. It all adds to their story.”

Don’t miss our series of free events planned throughout the Art of Solidarity exhibition.

Mike Tyler- Why I started collecting solidarity posters

25 January 2017 by Sarah

Tricontinental Conference – 3rd Anniversary, 1969 by Alfredo Juan Gonzalez Rostgaard. Copyright: Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive.

Mike Tyler is the architect and collector who owns the fantastic array of 32 posters currently on display in our Art of Solidarity exhibition. We asked Mike how and why he started collecting these Cuban posters, designed to support freedom movements around the world:    

“I’m often asked why I started collecting Cuban posters and the truth is, it kind of just happened. As a visual person I’m drawn to design, graphics, photography, street art etc, so when I first stumbled across a batch of these posters, I could see they were something special.  Read more…

Curator’s view: Art of Solidarity

13 January 2017 by Sarah

Day of Solidarity with the People of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, 1968. By Berta Abelenda Fernandez. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

Today we are pleased to open our new exhibition at the International Slavery Museum, ‘Art of Solidarity: Cuban posters for African liberation 1967 – 1989’. We asked curator Stephen Carl-Lokko to tell us what to expect:  Read more…

The King of Kaputa: life as a trader in 19th century Africa

21 December 2016 by Zachary

Eshira beaded belt with English-made metal buckle, collected in Gabon by J.G.C. Harrison and said to have been made by the niece of a King named Ngorlay.

The Harrison group of Central African objects can now be seen online. It is an important early collection, because it is unusually well documented for its time. The museum’s records relating to Harrison’s donations, which were made in 1879 and 1883, are still relatively brief but they suggest that Harrison acquired the artefacts through his close personal relationships with Central Africans.  Read more…

Selim Aga: African-born explorer

30 August 2016 by Zachary

Nupe gown from Bida collected by Selim Aga in about 1857 (20.11.60.2).

Nupe gown from Bida collected by Selim Aga in about 1857 (20.11.60.2).

After Liverpool Museum opened in its new building on William Brown Street in October 1860 (now World Museum), the first five African artefacts it acquired a month later were purchased from the African-born explorer Selim Aga. Aga acquired these five artefacts in the interior of Nigeria on the voyage of the Dayspring. You can find out more about Selim Aga and see the items he collected in our new Selim Aga online collection.

The Niger Expedition ship the Dayspring, built at Lairds in Birkenhead 1857.

The Niger Expedition ship the Dayspring, built at Lairds in Birkenhead 1857.

But the objects in this group only hint at Aga’s remarkable life as an explorer. Read more…

Kongo figure at the Met Museum, New York

19 October 2015 by Zachary

Mangaaka Nkisi nkondi “power figure”), Kongo, Mayombe, Dem. Rep. Congo. About 1900. Gift of O Sonnerburg through A. Ridyard. 29.5.00.21.

Mangaaka Nkisi nkondi “power figure”), Kongo, Mayombe, Dem. Rep. Congo. About 1900. Gift of O Sonnerburg through A. Ridyard. 29.5.00.21.

Last month Mangaaka (29.5.00.21), one of World Museum’s most impressive Kongo figures from Central Africa, joined 146 other Kongo-related exhibits in a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The ‘Kongo: Power and Majesty exhibition tells the story of Kongo history and creativity over 500 years. Mangaaka is displayed in the final hall of the exhibition, which includes a dramatic display of fourteen other magnificent Mangaaka figures borrowed from various institutions in Europe and the U.S.A.   Read more…

Atta Kwami fan shares her excitement about ‘Prints in Counterpoint’ exhibition!

11 May 2015 by Zachary

Liverpool Counterpoint 15. Copyright Atta Kwami.

Liverpool Counterpoint 15. Copyright Atta Kwami.

Our current exhibition ‘Prints in Counterpoint‘ has been popular with visitors to our World Cultures gallery, where it is showing in the introductory area of the Africa section of the gallery at World Museum until October.  Read more…

Subtle beasts

7 November 2014 by Zachary

Bakongo Chief's staff collected by A. Ridyard in 1895. WML 9.7.95.41.

Bakongo Chief’s staff collected by A. Ridyard in 1895. WML 9.7.95.41.

Snakes hold a universal fascination, so it is not surprising that our new ‘Sssnakes Alive‘ exhibition at World Museum is drawing large audiences. We all know that some snake species are highly venomous, but people’s fascination with snakes cannot be explained by the fear factor alone.  Read more…

Celebrating African World Cup legends

26 May 2014 by Mitty

African children holding two footballs

Image courtesy of Charity Ball

How do you explain football to someone who has never heard of it?

You don’t, you give them a ball.

Football is brilliantly absurd in how it manages to turn a simple and accessible game  into such an amazing spectacle. This June will see the World Cup come to Brazil and the biggest show of the year will be shared by literally billions of ecstatic football fans world wide, all hoping this will be their year to celebrate! Read more…

Ancient African Empires

22 April 2014 by Mitty

bronze sculpture of a woman's head

Benin sculpture of the Queen Mother’s head

Fred, an Education Demonstrator at the International Slavery Museum, has written about one of the fascinating aspects of African history that you can find out about in the museum:

“As a slavery museum, we also learn about West Africa. European slave traders justified their mistreatment and exploitation of African people by painting a picture of Africa as a simple or “primitive” place compared to European civilisations. In reality, a series of powerful empires, with skilled craftsmen and complex societies existed in West Africa before and during the period of transatlantic slavery, including the once mighty Kingdom of Benin. We’ve added new objects to our Life in West Africa session to reflect this. Read more…



About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.