The death of authentic primitive art and other tales of progress
By Shelly Errington
University of California Press, 1998
In this book, the author, Shelly Errington argues that Primitive Art was invented as a new type of art object at the
beginning of the twentieth century but that now, at the century’s end, it has died a double but contradictory death.
Authenticity and primitivism, both attacked by cultural critics, have died as concepts.
At the same time, the penetration of nation-states, the tourist industry, and transnational corporations into regions
that formerly produced these artifacts has severely reduced supplies of “primitive art,” bringing about a second “death.
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