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Figure: Female

Baga peoples

Not on view

Following Quinn’s death in 1924, a quarrel broke out regarding the dispersion of his collection, which in addition to African art included thousands of works ranging from modern art to antiquities and Chinese paintings. As a consequence, the collection was in large part sold privately, and many works today remain unidentified. Research has demonstrated that his African holdings comprised forty works; half of these, including this Baga female figure from coastal Guinea, were acquired in 1926 by the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
Featured here in a 1919 photograph by Charles Sheeler, the figure entered Quinn's collection in 1916. Described as "Idol Maternity from Guinea" in his records, he certainly never knew that, in their original context, such works embodied the Baga ideal of womanhood and motherhood.

Figure: Female, Wood, Baga peoples

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