The Art of Benin

The Art of Benin

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING DESCRIPTION AND GUIDANCE NOTE CAREFULLY AND ADDRESS THE QUESTION ACCORDINGLY. Read Reading 2.3 ‘On the British loss of antique works of art from Benin’ in AA100 Book 3, Chapter 2 (in attached file named Book 3 Cultural Encounters) and look closely at Plate 3.2.25 ‘Display of Benin bronzes at the Horniman Museum, London, 2007’ and Plate 3.2.26 ‘Display of Benin bronzes at the Horniman Museum, detail, 2007’ in the Illustration Book (in attached file named Illustration Book for Books 3 and 4). Drawing on your understanding of these sources, discuss the ways in which European attitudes to the Benin bronzes have changed over time. GUIDANCE NOTE This question asks you to bring together both visual and textual evidence, and thus requires skills in both Art History and History. You will need to read the text (Reading 2.3 in Loftus and Wood, 2008, pp. 80–1) closely and consider carefully how the author describes the Benin bronzes and the ways in which this text reflects common European attitudes towards the bronzes in the early twentieth century. You will find re-reading the relevant sections of Book 3, Chapter 2 helpful in understanding the text. You will also need to look closely at the Illustration Book, Plates 3.2.25 and 3.2.26 and consider carefully how the Benin bronzes are presented in this display and what this tells you about European attitudes towards the bronzes in the early twenty-first century. Re-reading the relevant sections of Book 3, Chapter 2 and watching the DVD-ROM ‘The Art of Benin’, particularly the short film showing some of the Benin artworks in the context of a major exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly in 2007, will enhance your understanding of these images. Please note that you are not expected to discuss the text of the display labels shown in Plates 3.2.25 and 3.2.26. Having analysed visual and textual sources, you will need to structure your answer carefully to give equal weight to discussion of the display depicted in the images, and the information contained in the text. Remember to focus your attention on information that is clearly relevant to your answer and at the end of your essay, to draw together your conclusions in a way