Overall: 44.8 x 9.3 x 7.7 cm (17 5/8 x 3 11/16 x 3 1/16 in.)
Gift of the African Art Sponsors of Karamu House 1931.204
Purchased in 1929 from art dealer Paul Guillaume in Paris, this figure is believed to be the earliest surviving example by the hand of the Totokro Master. In the March 1932 issue of The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, “the finely made statue” was praised as “of the genuine three-dimensional work of high caliber which greatly influenced contemporary French artists, particularly Pablo Picasso.” In the 1960s, however, based in part on its pristinely intact appearance—which may simply indicate that it was sold before being used—the sculpture was erroneously suspected to be a European forgery and labeled as “pseudo-African” in the museum’s object files.
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