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Female figure
Date: Early 20th century
Medium: Wood, pigment
Dimensions: H x W x D: 16.5 x 5.1 x 3.8 cm (6 1/2 x 2 x 1 1/2 in.)
Credit Line: Bequest of Eliot Elisofon
Geography: Mali
Object Number: 73-7-14
Search Terms:
Shrine/Altar
female
Object is not currently on exhibit

The ritual patina on the surface of this figure suggest the original spiritual qualities of the figure to the Dogon. However many outsiders are attracted by the piece's formal aesthetic qualities--including the stylized features, angular shoulders, strong positive and negative spaces. The donor, Eliot Elisofon, featured this figure in a series of multiple exposure photographs partially inspired by French artist Marcel Duchamp and partly by his viewing African art in context on his trips to Africa.

Wood standing female figure with legs terminating onto a circular plinth. Figure has square shoulders, upturned hands, pointed conical breasts and squared off facial features with crested hairstyle and projecting ears.

Frank Crowninshield, New York, circa 1935


Eliot Elisofon, New York, before 1951 to 1973


Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 21, 2013-December 14, 2014


Davidson, Basil. [1966] 1971. African Kingdoms. New York: Time-Life, pp. 164-165.



Staples, Amy J. 2014. "Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon." Tribal Art 19 (2), no. 71, pp. 88-89, nos. 15a-b.


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