Exhibitions/ Art Object

Spoon

Date:
19th - early 20th century (before 1914)
Geography:
Côte d'Ivoire
Culture:
Baule or We or Dan artist
Medium:
Wood
Dimensions:
H. x W. x D.: 9 5/8 x 1 13/16 x 2 3/16 in. (24.5 x 4.6 x 5.6 cm)
Classification:
Wood-Implements
Credit Line:
Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton
Not on view
Espousing characteristics of several genres from central Côte d’Ivoire, this spoon is representative of works exported from that region, principally through the harbor town of Grand Bassam, to feed the growing European market. Such anthropomorphic spoons enabled their female owners to host spiritual beings, but this example is unusually small and was probably not intended to be used.
Alfred Stieglitz was the principal buyer of the African works exhibited at his gallery in 1914; this spoon is one of four of his purchases assembled in this section of the exhibition. In subsequent years his African sculptures could often be seen hanging on the walls of his galleries or integrated into his photographic compositions. His wife, the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, inherited them after his death.
Paul Guillaume, Paris, before 1914; Alfred Stieglitz, New York, 1914; Georgia O'Keeffe, New Mexico, by inheritance, 1949–87