Untitled (Two Women)
1958, printed 1997
Artist Seydou Keïta (Malian, 1923–2001)
Sheet: 60.9 x 50.8 cm (24 x 20 in.)
Medium or Technique
Photograph, gelatin silver print
Not On View
This monumental pair of women was documented by Malian photographer Seydou Keïta in the late 1950s, at the height of his career. Trained as a carpenter and furniture maker, Keïta first experimented with photography while still a teenager and eventually opened a commercial portrait studio in a bustling neighborhood of Mali’s capital city, Bamako. Keïta was particularly admired for the flattering poses and inventive props he gave his sitters. These two figures stand in the photographer’s open-air courtyard, where their patterned dresses and headscarves create a wonderful dissonance with the graphic design of the textile backdrop. The women’s serious expressions and gestures underscore their status in the community and show off their graceful hands and elegant gold jewelry.
In black marker, l.l.: 1958 Seydou Keïta 1997
Stephen White Associates, Los Angeles, CA; purchased December 2000.
Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund for Photography
© Seydou Keïta Estate. Courtesy J.M. Patras