Arts of the Americas
On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Wood, stain, iron nails
22 1/2 x 14 1/2 x 13 1/4in. (57.2 x 36.8 x 33.7cm)
Other: 22 1/2 x 14 1/2 x 13 1/4in. (57.2 x 36.8 x 33.7cm) (show scale)
Museum Expedition 1904, Museum Collection Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
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
She-we-na (Zuni Pueblo) (Native American). Chair (tsem-pai-yau-nai), ca. 1850. Wood, stain, iron nails, 22 1/2 x 14 1/2 x 13 1/4in. (57.2 x 36.8 x 33.7cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1904, Museum Collection Fund, 04.297.5130. Creative Commons-BY
3/4 front right, right, 04.297.5130_threequarter_right_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
"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.
Stewart Culin collected this side chair in Zuni Pueblo in 1904, calling it an “Ancient kneeling chair." The chair is pieced together from 11 planks and 4 square posts. Its ornamentation is limited to horizontal grooves and soft scalloping on the lower rails. The crest rail displays a series of peaks along its upper edge, apparently cut across previously inscribed horizontal lines. Below the lines is a series of irregularly, squarish gouge holes. The rear stiles' finials are stepped, and their top set-back shows a rough area where a segment may have broken off. The front stiles show grooving and exposed top ends that may have been covered by a forward seat plank. Nails secure the seat planks to the frame, but rails and stiles are joined with open mortise-and-tendon joints.
Although Culin interpreted the stepped finials as Indian cloud forms In Spain, Islamic, North African stepped designs were also common forms. Other Hispanic traits include the mortis-and-joint construction and rectangular forming of its members and the use of staining. It has been suggested that it also demonstrates European proportions: about 2/3 vara by 1/2 vara (Spanish yard). If the finials had not broken off it would resemble the scrolled rear stiles of modest Spanish renaissance chairs.
Scholar Ramon Gutierrez raises questions regarding its meaning to Pueblo culture. He argues that Franciscans studied and manipulated Pueblo society to establish Christian authority and values and therefore the chair may represent an effort to impose Catholic-Spanish culture on the part of an unwilling native maker. If "always offered" to a guest of Euro-culture the chair may have meant respect for or control of that visitor, depending on the social, political, and gender status of both host and guest within Pueblo culture in the 1800s.
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.