Skip Navigation

Mitumba Deity

Shinique Smith

Contemporary Art

Sitting directly on the floor, like a Minimalist sculpture, Mitumba Deity consists of lumpy bundles of fabric, stuffed toys, and articles of clothing. Composed of Smith’s own garments and those of friends, the piece alludes to the global economy through the path of secondhand clothing. The piece was inspired by a film that tracks a T-shirt with a university logo from a thrift shop in New York to a mountain village in Africa, where it is purchased by a man and becomes his second shirt. Mitumba is a Swahili word that literally means “bundles” and refers to the packages and articles of used clothing donated by people in prosperous countries to charitable causes. Mitumba Deity is from Smith’s series of bundle sculptures.
MEDIUM Fabric, clothing, twine and cardboard
DATES 2005
DIMENSIONS 48 x 50 in. (121.9 x 127 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2009.25
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Contemporary Art Council
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Shinique Smith
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.

If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email copyright@brooklynmuseum.org and we will assist if we can.
CAPTION Shinique Smith (American, born 1971). Mitumba Deity, 2005. Fabric, clothing, twine and cardboard, 48 x 50 in. (121.9 x 127 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Contemporary Art Council, 2009.25. © Shinique Smith
IMAGE installation, CUR.2009.25.jpg. Image courtesy of Yvon Lambert Gallery
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (80%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.