The Martyrs of the Union Minière du Haut Katanga at the Stadium Formerly Called 'Albert I', now 'Mobutu', Kenia Township, Lubumbashi
Tshibumba Kanda Matulu
Arts of Africa
On View: Double Take Installation, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ART OF TRAUMA
Both of these very different Congolese works are deeply emotional expressions. One was commissioned to resolve a personal trauma, while the other represents a viscerally remembered social upheaval from the colonial era.
Figures like this mother and child were believed to offer protection, through the intervention of spirits, by the Bwanga Bwa Cibola society. When a woman lost successive children through miscarriages or early infant death, she could be initiated into the society to protect herself from ominous forces suspected to be the cause of the deaths. This emotionally gripping figure is considered to be one of the great masterpieces of African art.
Tshibumba's painting depicts the slaughter of striking mineworkers in Lubumbashi at the order of the Belgian colonial government on December 9, 1941. The artist critiques the institutions complicit in the colonial system: Belgium (represented by the flag), the church, the mining company, the colonial governor (with arm raised), and the Congolese soldiers in the colonial army. Following independence in 1960, a market for narrative painting developed among urban Congolese who were working in mining factories and living in new, Western-style homes.
Oil on fabric
Signed lower left: "Tshibumba / K M"
Inscribed lower left to right: "LE 9 DEC 1941 A LUBUMBASHI MARTYRS de L'U.M.H.K (GOUVERNEUR MARRON)"
Purchased with funds given by Ellen and Jerome L. Stern
After diligent research, the Museum is unable to locate contact information for the artist or artist's estate, or there are no known living heirs.
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tshibumba Kanda Matulu (Congolese, born 1947). The Martyrs of the Union Minière du Haut Katanga at the Stadium Formerly Called 'Albert I', now 'Mobutu', Kenia Township, Lubumbashi, ca. 1975. Oil on fabric
, 15 x 23 3/4 in. (38.1 x 60.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Ellen and Jerome L. Stern
, 2010.1 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2010.1_PS2.jpg)
overall, 2010.1_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
"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.
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.