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Finial

Maker
Attie artist
Date
Late 19th-early 20th century
Type
Sculpture
Medium
Ivory
Dimensions
H x W x D: 12.9 x 2.9 x 3.5 cm (5 1/16 x 1 1/8 x 1 3/8 in.)
Credit Line
Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
Object number
2005-6-62
Label Text
The use of ivory and the depiction of a seated pose are associated with wealth and power throughout Africa. An Attie (or Akye) ruler or dignitary could emphasize his authority or prominence by carrying a staff, cane or spear topped with this exquisitely carved ivory figure shown seated upon an imported chair. This sculpture clearly demonstrates foreign motifs--from chair to boots to suit-- which were assimilated into the local status system. The rigid formal pose, on the other hand, is highly traditional and is reserved for someone who is worthy of respect and is offering it in return. The gesture of the hands raised to the beard is also that of an African elder, not a European.
Description
Ivory seated male European figure holding his hands to his mouth, with long straight hair, a high hat, a buttoned shirt, long trousers and carved boots. The figure is seated on a high chair which is carved with images.
Exhibition History
Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2017-ongoing
The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection Highlights, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 21, 2009-June 4, 2014
African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., February 15, 2007-March 31, 2009
For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981
Sculpture of Black Africa: The Paul Tishman Collection, City Art Museum of Saint Louis, August 20-October 17, 1971
Masterpieces of African Art: Tishman Collection, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1967
Arts connus et arts méconnus de l'Afrique noire, Collection Paul Tishman, Musee de l'Homme, Paris, 1966
Published References
Arts connus et arts méconnus de l'Afrique noire, Collection Paul Tishman. 1966. Paris: Musee de l'Homme, no. 39 (not illustrated).
City Art Museum of Saint Louis. 1971. Sculpture of Black Africa: The Paul Tishman Collection. Special addendum (August 20-October 17). Saint Louis, p. 26, no. 33.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen. 2006. "African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection." Tribal Arts 43, p. 87, no. 14.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen, Bryna Freyer and Andrea Nicolls. 2007. African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 60, 90-91, fig. 20, no. 26.
Patton, Sharon F. and Bryna Freyer. 2008. Treasures 2008. Washington D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 80-81.
Ross, Doran (ed). 1992. Elephant: The Animal and Its Ivory in African Culture. Los Angeles: Fowler Museum of Cultural History, University of California, p. 29, no.1-45.
Muze'on Yisra'el. 1967. Masterpieces of African Art: Tishman Collection. Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, no. 25.
Vogel, Susan (ed). 1981. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 77, no. 38.
Data Source
National Museum of African Art
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Exhibition
Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts
On View
NMAfA, Second Level Gallery (2193)
Geography
Lagoons region, Côte d'Ivoire