Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Ancestral figure representing a hermaphrodite

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    New York (photographed)

  • Date:

    1935 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Evans, Walker, born 1903 - died 1975 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Photograph

  • Museum number:

    1996-1936

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 202, box I

Physical description

Photograph from an exhibition of African art displaying a back view of a Dogon figure of a hermaphrodite. The figure is made from wood and is from the Bandiagara region of Mali.

Place of Origin

New York (photographed)

Date

1935 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Evans, Walker, born 1903 - died 1975 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Photograph

Dimensions

Height: 27.25 in Height of figure

Object history note

NB: The term "negro" was used historically to describe people of black (sub-Saharan) African heritage but, since the 1960s, has fallen from usage and, increasingly, is considered offensive. The term is repeated here in its original historical context.

Historically, the term hermaphrodite was used to describe people born with sex characteristics which do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies. The word intersex has come into preferred usage for humans, since the word hermaphrodite is now considered to be stigmatizing as well as clinically problematic. The term is repeated in this record in its original historical context.

This ancestral figure embodies the spirit of the family and is used in burial ceremonies of the Dogon people of Mali, near the city of Bandiagara.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Walker Evans depicting a wooden sculpted figure of a hermaphrodite from French Sudan (modern day Mali) at a Museum of Modern Art exhibition entitled 'African Negro Art'. New York, 1935.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

AFRICAN NEGRO ART

Photographs by Walker Evans

List of Photographs

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1935
African Negro Art Edited by James Johnson Sweeney, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1935

Techniques

Photography

Subjects depicted

Sculpture; Gender; Hermaphrodite; Figures; Dogon; Mali

Categories

Africa; Photographs; Black History; Gender and Sexuality

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.