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Martinique Woman

Malvina Hoffman

American Art

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Although ostensibly a portrait head of a woman from the Caribbean island of Martinique, this sculpture is one of a number of heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928.

The modernized realism of this work signaled a deliberate break with earlier treatments of African subjects ranging from caricature to romanticism. For many years, however, the critical reception of Hoffman’s work remained firmly embedded in racist language and a Eurocentric point of view.
MEDIUM Black metamorphic stone
DATES 1928
DIMENSIONS 22 x 14 1/4 x 15 1/4 in., 158 lb. (55.9 x 36.2 x 38.7 cm, 71.67kg)
SIGNATURE Incised along bottom edge at back: "MALVINA HOFFMAN / © 1928"
COLLECTIONS American Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 28.384
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Over-life-sized head of woman with African features, head turned to right in 3/4 profile, hair gathered into small buns all over head, surface of skin is smoothly polished while hair is roughly textured. Medium possibly marble. Condition: Good, few small scratches and nicks overall.
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