About Alain Naoum
Based in the heart of Brussels, this reputable African art dealer has always been passionate about the history of civilisations and antique and traditional art in particular. He remembers the excitement he felt because of his Adventures of Tintin annuals: The Seven Crystal Balls and The Cigars of the Pharaoh. His antique dealer grandfather opened doors for him into what is now his daily life. Frequent visits to the “Cinquantenaire” Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren did the rest. The only thing left was waiting for a path to follow: the Utotombo exhibition of traditional African art at the “Palais des Beaux-Arts” in 1987 provided this spark.
Since then, Alain Naoum has travelled the world collecting experiences, discoveries and encounters. There is one among them that has left a lasting impression. Arman, an enthusiast and recognised specialist in traditional African art become a kind of mentor as well as a friend. Being familiar with collections of African art, galleries and museums for a number of years, Alain Naoum has collected knowledge that acts as a guarantee of the origin and quality of the pieces that he deals with. This is because he belong to this group of specialist who have experience in the field, whose eyes have seen thousands of objects and stay clear of speculative buys.
His several contacts within institutions such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts or the Smithsonian in Washington speaks volumes for his well-deserved recognition. Although it specialises in central African pieces, the gallery also offers pieces from other regions in Africa (Punu, Kota, etc.).
These items mostly come from American or Belgian collections. Beyond his role as a dealer and consultant for people looking to start a collection or complete an existing one, Alain Naoum is always on the look-out for high-quality pieces, notably those from the Congo.
Text was published on 2011 in the magazine « L’événement – Guide mensuel de l’élégance et de l’art de vivre en Belgique”