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After decades of being overlooked, African art gets its moment

“We never talked about Africa in the history of global art,” said Hannah O’Leary, a senior director at the Sotheby’s auction house in London who also heads their Modern and Contemporary African Art department. “It was quite apparent when I started working in the auction world or in the art market, that it was very hard to access contemporary art from Africa — to buy it, to view it,” she said. That’s changing though. While the global art market declined by nearly 18% last year, the African modern and contemporary art market has been resilient.

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