These representations of Africans and Africa by white artists will certainly be perceived in different ways. For some people, it will be an invitation to travel, through their imagination, to lands they have never visited. For others, it will be an opportunity to relive memories of countries they have known and loved. For many, it will be the surprise of discovering painting and sculpture which they have never come across before.

The works shown here can be seen as precious records of an Africa which has since been profoundly changed by political upheavals, fearful strife, the dreaded world-wide pandemic and the encroachment of modern civilisation. But these creations by talented artists should, above all, be appreciated and enjoyed for their own sake, for their beauty, poetry, or sheer visual impact.

Each Africanist, whether in an academic, semi-figurative or more abstract style, endeavoured to give his own vision of the continent and to relate his own unforgettable experience. These men and women who, for the most part, travelled or lived in Africa in the 1920s to the 1950s, were devoid of racial prejudice. Their aim was not to impress or impose, nor was it to record the establishment of Europeans. For these artists, Africa was black, not white.

Lynne Thornton, Author
Les Africanistes, Peintres Voyageurs, ACR edition, 1990