Collections: American Art: Martinique Woman

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    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

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    Martinique Woman

    Martinique Woman, one of a number of portrait heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928, is a heroic-scale portrayal distinguished by the precise refinement of its volumes and the play of its polished and textured surfaces. Although the modernized realism of works such as this one signaled a deliberate break with earlier treatments of African subjects, ranging from caricature to escapist romanticism, there is no doubt that Hoffman’s choice of subject participated in a broader phenomenon of cross-cultural documentation through which Western “authorities” sought to reshape and control the identities of vastly different cultures.

    • Artist: Malvina Hoffman, American, 1885-1966
    • 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)  (show scale)
    • 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
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: 28.384
    • Credit Line: Dick S. Ramsay Fund
    • Rights Statement: © Estate of Malvina Hoffman
    • Caption: Malvina Hoffman (American, 1885-1966). Martinique Woman, 1928. Black metamorphic stone, 22 x 14 1/4 x 15 1/4 in., 158 lb. (55.9 x 36.2 x 38.7 cm, 71.67kg). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 28.384. © Estate of Malvina Hoffman
    • Image: front, 28.384_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
    • 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.
    • Record Completeness: Best (89%)
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