Exhibitions/ Art Object

Portrait Mask

19th - early 20th century (before 1914)
Côte d'Ivoire
Baule or Guro peoples
H. x W. x D.: 16 3/8 x 6 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (41.6 x 16.5 x 11.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Not on view
Baule and Guro masks, depicting beautiful women, promote cultural concepts of ideal beauty and values. This mask, like several other works exhibited in "Statuary in Wood," does not show signs of wear or use, suggesting that its Ivoirian creator might have intended it specifically for trade with foreigners. Featuring the unusual naturalistic features (especially the well-defined chin) and the dark, gleaming patina sought after by collectors on the bourgeoning African-art market while combining several regional genres from central Côte d’Ivoire, masks like this one demonstrate the adaptability of African artists to respond quickly to outside demands.
Paul Guillaume, Paris, before 1914; Alfred Stieglitz, New York, 1914; Georgia O'Keeffe, New Mexico, by inheritance, 1949–87