Male Figure

African, Bamum peoples, Cameroon
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist Unidentified


Object Place: Cameroon

Dimensions

Overall: 65 x 18.5 x 16 cm (25 9/16 x 7 5/16 x 6 5/16 in.) Overall (on wood platform base): 3.5 x 19.7 x 23.5 cm (1 3/8 x 7 3/4 x 9 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2701

Medium or Technique

Wood, burlap, beads, shells, string, encrustation

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Sculpture

The Bamum of the Cameroon Grasslands have a rich tradition of courtly art. Royal prestige and wealth was directly related to the richness of the visual display s in the king’s palace. Rulers would call upon artists to make masks, textiles, sculptures, and stools and noble status would be rewarded to artists that were particularly well-liked by the king. This seated male figure may have been a piece of the royal treasury, or at least inspired by the heavily beaded sculptures that were particularly popular amongst Bamum royals.

Provenance

1970s, sold by an unidentified African merchant, Cambridge, MA, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart