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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"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
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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