Brafa 2017- Pende and Yaka masks, Bembe seated drummer
Bernard de Grunne has been immersed in the world of great tribal sculpture for more than 40 years as he actively accompanied his father Baudouin de Grunne in building one of the finest collection of Tribal art in Europe from 1968 to 1995. He studied the
art of Congo under the legendary Dr. Albert Maesen Chief Curator of the Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren and has earned a Ph.D. in African Art History with Professor Robert Faris Thomson at Yale University in 1987. He became the worldwide
head of the Tribal Art department at Sotheby's from 1987 to 1992 setting a world-record price at auction for the Bangwa queen sold to the Dapper Museum.
His unrivalled experience of handling some of the best examples of the art of Eastern Congo such as the Hemba, Tabwa, Lega as well of the styles from Eastern Nigeria such as the Mumuye has allowed him to acquire a very deep knowledge on
the issues of authenticity and aesthetic qualities of the major art styles of Africa.
He started dealing for his own account in 1995 in African, Oceanic and Indonesian Tribal Art during which time he has acquired an international reputation for quality, scholarship and professionalism. He has been advisor to some of the
finest private collections formed in the last two decades in the US and Europe.
He has also published extensively on the arts of Eastern Congo such as the Tabwa and the Lega, the Terracotta statuary from the Jenne culture, Mali and the Nok culture, Nigeria and the art styles of the Soninke and Dogon in Mali. He has
curated a major exhibition on the notion of Master Hands in fourteen African styles in 2001 and the first exhibition of the arts styles of the Nok culture from Nigeria.
Questions of authenticity in the arts of Africa, Oceania and Tribal Indonesia are of upmost concern to new collectors. Bernard de Grunne can offer impartial and scholarly advice in this difficult area thanks to his experience in handling
great numbers of undisputed masterpieces in these fields and can also quickly rely of his vast network of scholars, laboratories and qualified professional colleagues.