ARTS & SOCIETIES
 

LETTER OF SEMINAR 49

Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po

 
 
 

THE RIGHTS OF WORKS
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Maureen Murphy
Masterpieces are Born Free and Equal



Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Staff: Carole Gautier and Cécile Pichon-Bonin
Translator: David Ames Curtis

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EDITORIAL

 

            We are familiar with the foundational book written by Maureen Murphy, L’imaginaire au musée. Les arts d’Afrique entre Paris et New York de 1931 à  2005 (Les Presses du Réel, 2009).  Here, Murphy reexamines how non-Western works of art have been treated, from the moment when they were placed on the bottom rung of the evolutionary ladder until today.  Their status changed along the way, thanks in part to the gaze of modern artists, who saw in them beautiful objects in their own right capable of stimulating these artists’ own world of forms.  But the process of their “recognition” is not shielded from the dangers of “cooptation” or from the old reflexes, as if a cheap and trashy exoticism continued to enchant the history of art.


Laurence Bertrand Dorléac


       

Letter published with the support of the Foundation of France
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