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Figure of Man with Grapes

Decorative Arts and Design

This dapper gentleman probably served as a trade sign for a tavern or inn. The style of his suit suggests a date about 1860. The abstraction found in folk art derives from a natural economy of style and concentration on essentials, rather than from as aesthetic theory. Many artists of the 1920, such as Elie Nadelman and William Sorach, however, were attracted to and influenced by folk art because of its affinity with modern abstract art.

MAKER Unknown
MEDIUM Wood, metal wire, bone
DATES ca. 1860
DIMENSIONS 16 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (41.9 x 19.1 x 13.3 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of The Guennol Collection
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Carved wooden figure of man, primitive style, painted gray-green. Man stands on a low cylindrical base and holds aloft an oversized bunch of grapes in proper right arm; his proper left arm is bent at elbow and extends perpendicular to the figure's body. He is dressed in a suit, knee-high boots, and Derby hat. Eyes are bone. Grapes are attached to wires threaded through hole in figure's hand. Left hand is in a gripping position with hole bored through the fist, probably for attaching a now lost component (perhaps a wineglass). Condition: Very good; minor wear, appears to be missing a component.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Unknown. Figure of Man with Grapes, ca. 1860. Wood, metal wire, bone, 16 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (41.9 x 19.1 x 13.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Guennol Collection, 2000.80. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 2000.80_SL3.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2000.80_SL3.jpg., 2017
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