Many twentieth-century European and American artists collected African masks and sculptures, which they prized for their formal qualities and for their seeming challenge to the traditions of Western art. The Fang masterpiece known as "The Great Bieri," portrayed by Evans in profile was once part of the large collection amassed by British sculptor Jacob Epstein. This object is now in the collection of the Metropolitan (1979.206.229).
Inscription: Inscribed, verso C (sideways): "366 // 2"; dealer's box stamp in ink with inscriptions in pencil, verso C: "Walker Evans // XX [in pencil in box] // 366 [in pencil in box]"; inscribed in pencil, verso BL: "316"
Samuel and Marilyn Stern
This photograph is #316 in African Negro Art, a corpus of photographs prepared by the Museum of Modern Art in 1935 as a record of the exhibition curated by James Johnson Sweeney. The object is in the Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection at the Metropolitan Museum (1979.206.229). See 1992.5073 for a frontal image of this object.