Perkins Foss, visiting associate professor of art history, recently published a monograph, An Old Urhobo, Edition Henricus Simonis (Köln: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2011), with text in both German and English.
The book analyzes a life-sized wood statue of a nursing mother, from the Urhobo-speaking part of the Western Niger River Delta in Nigeria. Foss specializes in Urhobo art of that area and dated the work to the early nineteenth century. Through analysis of oral histories, he attributed the statue to the workshop of Okagbare of Agbarha-Otor.
Foss’s extensive research and work among the Urhobo, whom he has been studying since the late 1960s, previously led them to honor him as a traditional chief.