Known as Sanamu, or ""Mr. Picture, "" Robert Dick-Read began his ""Adventures in Search of African Art"" with a small shop in Mombasa. But curios and the pieces which came to his door did not satisfy him for long, and he was off to seek out native art and artifacts in varied territory. In Makonde he located masks, including one of ""Queen Elizabethi Wa Waingilesa""--for the tribe under Portuguese rule wished fervently to be under British dominion; in the Congo he found wood carvers and canoes. The Grasslands brought back the history of an alphabet in bronze; seeking the reed boats of the Nile, he discovered clearly related craft on Lake Tsana. Determined to preserve some art for posterity, he took on the mission of creating a museum, and convinced a Fon in the Cameroons to give the royal family bedstead to the ""Big, Big House."" In Ethiopia, he entered the highlands where medieval Christendom still holds sway. Mr. Dick-Read's book is dense with anecdote and fact, and if one can keep up with him as he visits a myriad of tribes, he is indeed good company.