Christopher Roy: African Art and Field Photography

Jelli; Awa Diabite and her cowives making and firing pottery in far western Burkina Faso, two young women of the Diabite family Awa Diabite and other Diabite women, 2001; Image and original data provided by Christopher D. Roy

Artstor is collaborating with Christopher D. Roy to share approximately 3,500 images of African art and culture in the Digital Library. The collection will include images of art and ceremonial objects, as well as documentation of their social context, use, and manufacture — whether performances employing masks, or techniques used in producing pottery, iron, leather, and weaving. Since 1970, Roy has been photographing the rural villages and towns of the Bobo, Bwa, Fulani, Lobi, Mossi, and Nuna peoples in West Africa — primarily in Burkina Faso, but also in Ghana, Nigeria, and Niger. Professor Roy has used his field photography to produce numerous educational resources (films, CDs, and DVDs) to support the teaching of African art history and anthropology at high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States.

Christopher D. Roy is Professor of Art History and Elizabeth M. Stanley Faculty Fellow of African Art History at the University of Iowa. He teaches courses in African, Pre-Columbian, Native American, and Pacific Islands art. He received his PhD in African art history from Indiana University (1979) and his research focuses on the art of Burkina Faso and West Africa. Roy is the founder and director of the Program for Advanced Study of Art and Life in Africa (PASALA), an interdisciplinary program of fellowships, scholarships, conferences, and publications focused on the visual arts of Africa.