All Smithsonian museums are temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. We are not announcing a re-opening date at this time and will provide updates on a week-to-week basis.
Royal attendant. This ivory figure is one of the first two African artworks acquired by the Tishmans. A court artist carved this young woman with the distinctive coral bead jewelry and crest hairstyle of an attendant to the queen mother. A queen mother would have had her own palace with a separate court and attendants. Upon her death, the king would commission an altar in her memory. This figure was probably intended for such an altar.