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African Sculpture [Bamileke figure, Njuindem. “Bangwa Queen,” Bangwa Kingdon, Cameroon]

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.

Date:

1935

Artist:

Walker Evans
American, 1903-1975

About this artwork

Before holding his own one-person show at the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Evans was commissioned by that museum to document their ambitious exhibition of African sculpture. The 1935 exhibition emphasized the works’ formal qualities, a then-radical approach to presenting African art. Evans photographed the sculptures after museum hours with an 8 × 10–inch camera, carefully rotating light sources during exposure to eliminate shadows and emphasize sculptural shapes. In the darkroom, he made contact prints from negatives tightly trimmed to the shape of their subjects. The resulting images are deceptively straightforward. They advance what Evans later described as his “documentary style”: photography that, though highly intentional, gives the impression of “detachment and record.”

Currently Off View

Photography

Artist

Walker Evans

Title

African Sculpture [Bamileke figure, Njuindem. “Bangwa Queen,” Bangwa Kingdon, Cameroon]

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1935

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

23 × 10.2 cm (image/paper)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of John A. Bross in memory of Louise Smith Bross

Reference Number

2016.124

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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