Myth and magic

The art of the Shona of Zimbabwe

Joy Kuhn


The book is out of print.


Joy Kuhn's perspective on Zimbabwe stone sculptors and their mentors, Frank McEwen, Ned Patterson, and Tom Blomefield, is a highly personalized one; her narrative is downright chatty. But beneath all the first-person singular, one can glean some insights into these early pre-independence years of the movement, when Harare was still Salisbury, Zimbabwe was Rhodesia and "terrorists" were abroad in the land. Annoying, however, is the total absence of captions to identify the photographs; no names, no places; no dates; nothing, except a note that most are from the private collection of Tom Blomefield and so, presumably illustrate Tengenenge sculptures.


... the book is useful, because she interviewed a lot of sculptors from the first generation. In this way we get insight into the beliefs, motivations and systems in Shona sculpture. - Pierre Swillens


Joy Kuhn was one of the early writers on Shona sculpture.