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Martinique Woman

Malvina Hoffman

American Art

On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Beyond Borders and Boundaries, 20th and 21st Centuries, 5th Floor
Although ostensibly a portrait head of a woman from the Caribbean island of Martinique, this sculpture is one of a number of heads based on Malvina Hoffman’s travels through Africa about 1928.

The modernized realism of this work signaled a deliberate break with earlier treatments of African subjects ranging from caricature to romanticism. For many years, however, the critical reception of Hoffman’s work remained firmly embedded in racist language and a Eurocentric point of view.
MEDIUM Black metamorphic stone
DATES 1928
DIMENSIONS 22 x 14 1/4 x 15 1/4 in., 158 lb. (55.9 x 36.2 x 38.7 cm, 71.67kg)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Incised along bottom edge at back: "MALVINA HOFFMAN / © 1928"
COLLECTIONS American Art
ACCESSION NUMBER 28.384
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Estate of Malvina Hoffman
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CAPTION Malvina Hoffman (American, 1885-1966). Martinique Woman, 1928. Black metamorphic stone, 22 x 14 1/4 x 15 1/4 in., 158 lb. (55.9 x 36.2 x 38.7 cm, 71.67kg). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 28.384. © Estate of Malvina Hoffman
IMAGE front, 28.384_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"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 Over-life-sized head of woman with African features, head turned to right in 3/4 profile, hair gathered into small buns all over head, surface of skin is smoothly polished while hair is roughly textured. Medium possibly marble. Condition: Good, few small scratches and nicks overall.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (89%)
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