Bust of a European Man (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

20th Century
Overall: 14 1/2 × 7 1/16 × 7 3/4 in. (36.83 × 17.94 × 19.69 cm)

Bust of a European Man is an example of a colon figure--a transitional work reflecting changes due to European contact. The genre originated during the colonial period and often depicts European officials wearing Western attire, such as military uniforms, tailored suits, and various styles of hats.

This figure's distinctive dress, including high collar with pointed lapels, bowtie, and hat--possibly a version of the pith helmet--poses many questions about who it represents. The delicate curves, stylized features, and overall almond shape, done in a Ghanian style closely resembling the work of 1930's master carver Osei Bonsu, contributes to its enigmatic, cross-cultural aspect.

Gift of Kenneth and Bonnie Brown
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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