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Figure of Man with Grapes

Decorative Arts

This dapper gentleman probably served as a trade sign for a tavern or inn. The style of his suit suggests a date about 1860. The abstraction found in folk art derives from a natural economy of style and concentration on essentials, rather than from as aesthetic theory. Many artists of the 1920, such as Elie Nadelman and William Sorach, however, were attracted to and influenced by folk art because of its affinity with modern abstract art.

MAKER Unknown
MEDIUM Wood, metal wire, bone
DATES ca. 1860
DIMENSIONS 16 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (41.9 x 19.1 x 13.3 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2000.80
CREDIT LINE Gift of The Guennol Collection
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Unknown. Figure of Man with Grapes, ca. 1860. Wood, metal wire, bone, 16 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 5 1/4 in. (41.9 x 19.1 x 13.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Guennol Collection, 2000.80. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2000.80_transp3636.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2000.80_transp3636.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"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.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Carved wooden figure of man, primitive style, painted gray-green. Man stands on a low cylindrical base and holds aloft an oversized bunch of grapes in proper right arm; his proper left arm is bent at elbow and extends perpendicular to the figure's body. He is dressed in a suit, knee-high boots, and Derby hat. Eyes are bone. Grapes are attached to wires threaded through hole in figure's hand. Left hand is in a gripping position with hole bored through the fist, probably for attaching a now lost component (perhaps a wineglass). Condition: Very good; minor wear, appears to be missing a component.
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