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God's Gift to Man

Bessie Harvey

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

On View: Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Northwest, 4th Floor
Bessie Harvey described her art as a collaboration with nature and God. Her anthropomorphic compositions grew from found natural forms in wood foraged in Tennessee, informed by her personal study of African art. In God’s Gift to Man, detailed and individualized women are arranged on top of a visceral red gash. Harvey grapples with Biblical gender edicts demanding women be subservient to men, while evincing the painful frequency and reality of abuse and sexual assault of women by those same men.
MEDIUM Wood, Paint, Textile, Paper, Plastics, Hair, Metal
DATES 1987
DIMENSIONS 47 × 48 × 26 in., 218 lb. (119.4 × 121.9 × 66 cm, 98.88kg)  (show scale)
ACCESSION NUMBER 2018.37.5
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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CAPTION Bessie Harvey (American, 1929-1994). God's Gift to Man, 1987. Wood, Paint, Textile, Paper, Plastics, Hair, Metal, 47 × 48 × 26 in., 218 lb. (119.4 × 121.9 × 66 cm, 98.88kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018, 2018.37.5. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , CUR.2018.37.5.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.2018.37.5.jpg., 2018
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Bessie Harvey (American, 1929-1994). <em>God's Gift to Man</em>, 1987. Wood, Paint, Textile, Paper, Plastics, Hair, Metal, 47 × 48 × 26 in., 218 lb. (119.4 × 121.9 × 66 cm, 98.88kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2018, 2018.37.5. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , CUR.2018.37.5.jpg)