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Figure: Male

Kusu or northern Luba peoples

Not on view

Male figures of this scale from the Kasongo region historically represent great leaders of the past. Its hybrid features and the lack of any trace of original patina, however, indicate that this work was probably never intended for use in its original context and might have been created explicitly for a foreign clientele.
Acquired between 1913 and 1916 in the Kongolo region by Joseph Van den Boogaerde, a Belgian colonial administrator in Eastern Congo, it was sent to New York by Charles Vignier in 1919 and acquired by Quinn from the De Zayas Gallery. This collecting history is representative of the changes in status experienced by African objects after their removal from Africa: from commercial goods to colonial trophies, from ethnographic artifacts to works of art.

Figure: Male, Wood, paint, Kusu or northern Luba peoples

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