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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Prestige Stool: Female Caryatid

19th–20th century
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Songye peoples
Wood, metal, ivory, beads
H. 19 13/16 x W. 13 3/8 x D. 13 1/8 in. (50.4 x 34 x 33.3 cm)
Credit Line:
The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Purchase, Nelson A. Rockefeller Gift, 1969
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 352
In many cultures in southeastern D.R.C.--indeed, throughout Africa--seats of leaders are important symbols of power and authority. Most of the peoples of southeastern D.R.C. trace succession and inheritance through the female line, and, accordingly, caryatid figures supporting chiefs' stools generally depict women.
Jeanne Walschot, Paris, Antwerp, and Brussels, until 1950; Clark and Frances Stillman, New York, until 1969; The Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1969–1978

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art of Oceania, Africa, and the Americas from the Museum of Primitive Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1969, no. 435.

The American Federation of Arts. Primitive Art Masterworks: an exhibition jointly organized by the Museum of Primitive Art and the American Federation of Arts, New York. New York: The American Federation of Arts, 1974, no. 93.

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