The 16th century bronze plaques from the kingdom of Benin are among the most recognized masterpieces of African art, and yet many details of their commission and installation in the palace in Benin City, Nigeria, are little understood. The Benin Plaques, A 16th Century Imperial Monument is a detailed analysis of a corpus of nearly 850 bronze plaques that were installed in the court of the Benin kingdom at the moment of its greatest political power and geographic reach. By examining European accounts, Benin oral histories, and the physical evidence of the extant plaques, Gunsch is the first to propose an installation pattern for the series.
Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch
Country of Publication:
Series: Routledge Research in Art History
14 January 2020
Professional and scholarly
Table of Contents List of Tables and Figures Acknowledgements Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: A Short History of Benin Art and Politics Chapter Three: Threat and Creativity: The Political Context for Esigie's Commission Chapter Four: Remembrance and Memorial: Methods of Commemoration in Benin Chapter Five: Patterns of Authorship and the Architectural Frame Chapter Six: The Installation of the Plaque Corpus under Esigie and Orhogbua Conclusion Annex 1: Plaques by Flange-Pattern Category Annex 2: Illustration of Flange Pattern Sub-Types Annex 3: Views of Palace Reconstruction Annex 4: List of Plaques by Institution Glossary Bibliography
Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch is Department Head and Teel Curator for the Arts of Africa and Oceania at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.