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Palace door

ilekun aafin
Maker:
Olowe of Ise, ca. 1875-ca. 1938
Yoruba peoples
Medium:
Wood, traces of pigment
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 207 x 88 x 15.9 cm (81 1/2 x 34 5/8 x 6 1/4 in.)
Type:
Architectural Element
Geography:
Ise, Ekiti region, Nigeria
Date:
ca. 1904-1910
Topic:
Commemorative
Leadership
equestrian
mother and child
musical instrument
weapon
horse
male
female
Credit Line:
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kuhn
Object number:
88-13-1
Label Text:
Olowe of Ise is considered by many art historians and art collectors to be the most important Yoruba artist of the 20th century. Active in the first quarter of the century, he designed and carved architectural sculptures for several palaces in the Ekiti region of Yorubaland. His work first became known in Europe when an elaborately carved and painted door and lintel ensemble he had created for the palace of the Ogoga (king) of Ikere was displayed at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition in London. Considered by experts in the British Museum to be "the finest piece of West African carving that has ever reached England," the door and its lintel were acquired for that museum's collection in exchange for a British-made throne.
Olowe's innovative approach to carving the palace doors stands apart from Yoruba low relief work, which typically is flat and even. Olowe, however, carved in exceedingly high and uneven relief. The figures on this panel, the right side of a door, project in profile from the background by as much as 10 centimeters (approximately 4 inches), and the upper bodies of some figures are carved completely in the round. Instead of using static, frontal poses, Olowe turned the heads of the figures in opposition to their bodies to face the viewer. He crossed their legs to suggest walking or dancing motions.
The panel shown here commemorates an actual event. At the end of the 19th century the Arinjale (king) of Ise received the first British traveling commissioners for the Ondo Province. The left side of the door (in a private collection) depicts Major W. R. Reeve-Tucker, the first traveling commissioner, and Captain W. G. Ambrose, his successor, and their entourage of African porters, soldiers, prisoners and British missionaries.
This right panel depicts the Yoruba king and his entourage. The Arinjale, who is mounted on a horse and wears a conical crown surmounted by a bird, is seen in the second register. He is accompanied by a court messenger and a musician. Royal wives and children, guards, priests and others from the palace appear in successive registers. The decapitated female figure in the lowest register is a human sacrifice, an act committed on the rarest occasions to ensure the survival of the community. Originally three vultures pecked at the female's eyes, abdomen and feet; now only the feet of the birds remain. The faces carved on two columns along the length of the door may represent war captives or royal ancestors.
Olowe carved the palace door from iroko, an iron-hard wood highly valued in his time and still used in modern building construction and furniture making. No photograph of Olowe has been located, but his oriki, or chanted attributes, claims that he was handsome and so strong that he could carve iroko wood "as though it were as soft as a calabash."
See more items in:
National Museum of African Art Collection
On View:
NMAfA, Second Level Concourse
Data Source:
National Museum of African Art
Visitor Tag(s):

Sunnyside [photoprint]

Creator:
National Historic Landmark
Irving, Washington
Sleepy Hollow Restorations
Bolton, Robert, Rev
Van Tassel, Baltus
Hewitt, Arthur
Architect:
Harvey, George
Physical description:
1 photoprint: b&w, 3 x 5 in
Type:
Projected media
Place:
United States of America, New York, Westchester County, Greenburgh, Tarrytown
New York (State)
Tarrytown
Date:
1909
03/30/1909
Topic:
Spring
Porticoes
Wisteria
Dogs
Men
Local number:
NY140004
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens
Visitor Tag(s):

Men Before Banquet Table [graphic]

Creator:
Sevruguin, Antoin d. 1933
Subject:
Sevruguin, Antoin d. 1933
Smith, Myron Bement 1897-1970
Islamic Archives
Physical description:
1 glass negative : b&w ; 18 cm. x 12.8 cm
Type:
Glass negatives
Place:
Asia
Iran
Date:
1880-1900
Topic:
Clothing and dress
Headgear
Rites and ceremonies
Local number:
FSA A.4 2.12.GN.16.08
Notes:
Title and summary note are provided by Shabnam Rahimi-Golkhandan, FSg curatorial research specialist
Antoin Sevruguin is one of the early pioneers of commercial photography in Iran. He arrived in Iran from Tbilisi, Georgia in the mid 1870s to set up shop in Ala al-Dawla street in Tehran. From the early days, Sevruguin's studio was trusted both by the Qajar court and by foreign visitors to Iran. Highly regarded for their artistic ingenuity outside Iran, Sevruguin's photographs of 'ethnic types,' architecture and landscape, and depictions of daily life of Tehran found their way into foreign travelogues, magazines and books. As such, he stands alone in a relatively large group of early Iranian photographers for being recognized and celebrated outside the boundaries of the country. Antoin Sevruguin passed away in 1933, leaving behind only a fraction of his large collection of glass negatives, which is currently in the Archives of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Summary:
- Handwritten number (inked, probably by Antoin Sevruguin) reads, "1029."
- Handwritten information on slip of paper (from a 1943-1944 cash book, produced by the Bathni Brothers, Tehran) reads, "Nasr ed Din + Court." [Myron Bement Smith Collection, Subseries 2.1: Islamic Archives History, Collection Information]
- Myron Bement Smith handwritten caption in English reads, "47.P; Box 16.8: Nasr ud Din and court." [Myron Bement Smith Collection, Subseries 2.1: Islamic Archives History, Collection Information; Box 60; Folder 44: 47 P: Antoine Sevruguin, glass negatives, Iran]
Cite as:
Myron Bement Smith Collection: Antoin Sevruguin Photographs. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Gift of Katherine Dennis Smith, 1973-1985
See more items in:
Myron Bement Smith collection 1899-1962
Myron Bement Smith Collection, Subseries 2.12: Antoin Sevruguin Photographs
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Field Work in Nigeria: Two young Men with Necklace and Camera in Hand

Creator:
Turner, Lorenzo Dow 1890-1972
Subject:
Turner, Lorenzo Dow
Physical description:
1 photographic negative : b&w; 35mm
Type:
Negatives
Place:
Africa
Nigeria
Date:
1951
Topic:
Portrait photography
Clothing and dress
Headdresses--headgear
Local number:
ACMA LDT-N-R36-1174
Notes:
Title is provided by ACMA Archives staff based on researcher's notes
Cite as:
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Lois Turner Williams
See more items in:
Sub-series 5.4.1: Research: Africa
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers, Series 5: Photographs ca 1890-1974
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers 1895-1972
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

[Profile of Croatan man] 1911

Creator:
Gill, De Lancey W
Physical description:
glass negative
Culture:
Croatan
Lumbee Indians
Indians of North America Southern States
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1911
Local number:
BAE GN 866 B
Cite as:
BAE GN 866 B, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Glass Negatives of Indians (Collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology) 1850s-1930s
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

[Photograph marked "Regal" in a scrapbook : black and white photoprint]

Subject:
Flores Yo-yo Corporation
Duncan Yo-Yo Company
Physical description:
Silver gelatin on paper
1 item, 1.5" x 1"
Culture:
Filipino Americans 1920-1940
Type:
Photographs
Date:
1920
1940
Ca. 1920-1940
1920-1940
Topic:
Toys
Yo-yos
Filipino American businesspeople
Local number:
AC0807-0000004.tif (AC Scan)
Notes:
In Box 27, Folder 1
Summary:
"Regal" may be Pedro Flores, a Filipino American largely responsible for the popularity of the yo-yo in the United States beginning in the 1920s; founded Flores Yo-yo Company; photographer unidentified
Cite as:
Duncan Family Yo-yo Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Duncan Family Yo-yo Collection
Data Source:
Archives Center - NMAH
Visitor Tag(s):

Six Zulu Men with Spears, Eating Meal Around Metal Kettle Over Campfire Between Two Trees in Open Field n.d

Physical description:
1 photoprint 005 in x 004 in mounted on 005 in x 004 in
Culture:
Zulu (African people)
Type:
Photographs
Date:
nd
Local number:
NAA INV 06063100
Cite as:
DOE Africa: So Africa: Zulu: Postcards: People 06063100, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Photograph collection ca. 1860s-1960s
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Theodore M. Sullivan posing next to car

Physical description:
1 photographic print: black and white, 3 x 4.5 in
Culture:
African American
Type:
Photographic prints
Place:
Boston, (Mass.)
United States
Date:
1920
Topic:
African American men
Automobiles--1910-1920
Local number:
ACMA PH2005.7002.047
Cite as:
The Sullivan Family papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Savina Martin, Dominga Martin and Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper
See more items in:
Sullivan family papers 1860-1994 bulk 1920-1960
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Ales Hrdlicka Photographs 1912-1917

Creator:
Hrdlička, Aleš 1869-1943
Subject:
Smithsonian Institution United States National Museum exhibits
Royal College of Surgeons, London bone specimens
Smithsonian Institution United States National Museum bone specimens
American Museum of Natural History bone specimens
Panama-California Exposition (1915-1916 : San Diego, Calif.)
Physical description:
595 items
Culture:
Mongols
Dakota Indians depicted
Hopi Indians depicted
Navajo Indians depicted
Osage Indians depicted
Pueblo Indians depicted
Omaha Indians depicted
Indians of North America Great Plains
Indians of North America Southwest, New
Apache Indians
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1912-1917
Topic:
Dress--Apache
Dwellings--Pueblo
Dance--Pueblo
Physical anthropology
Summary:
The lot, mostly glass and film negatives, seems to center around Hrdlickaʹs work of 1912-1914 which involved his own activities or activities of assistants on behalf of the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. Included are images of Apaches of Oklahoma, Dakotas, Hopis, Navahos, Omahas, Osages, and Pueblo Indians. Many of the photographs were made in Urga in Mongolia. For the most part, the images are physical anthropological full-face and profile portraits ("mug shots")
There are also views of exhibits in the United States National Museum and copies of the work of other photographers. There are also several portraits of Apaches of Oklahoma that show the subjects full length in native dress. One series of southwestern photographs shows structures, a dance, and various activities of Pueblo Indians. In addition, some of the negatives are of physical anthropological bone specimens. Some show items from the collection of the Royal College of Surgeons in London. Others were made by Hrdlicka in 1917 and show specimens in the United States National Museum and in the American Museum of Natural History
Cite as:
Photo lot 73-26B, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Additional Online Media:

Portrait of Theodore M. Sullivan

Physical description:
1 photographic print: black and white, 6 x 4 in
Culture:
African American
Type:
Photographic prints
Place:
Boston, (Mass.)
United States
Date:
1925
Topic:
African American men
Portraits
Local number:
ACMA PH2005.7002.048
Cite as:
The Sullivan Family papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Savina Martin, Dominga Martin and Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper
See more items in:
Sullivan family papers 1860-1994 bulk 1920-1960
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Portrait of Lewis Sullivan

Physical description:
1 photographic print: black and white, 6 x 4 in
Culture:
African American
Type:
Photographic prints
Place:
Boston, (Mass.)
United States
Date:
1942
Topic:
African American men
Portraits
Local number:
ACMA PH2005.7002.044
Cite as:
The Sullivan Family papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Savina Martin, Dominga Martin and Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper
See more items in:
Sullivan family papers 1860-1994 bulk 1920-1960
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Portrait of Earle L. Sullivan

Physical description:
1 photographic print: black and white, 6 x 4 in
Culture:
African American
Type:
Photographic prints
Place:
Boston, (Mass.)
United States
Date:
1942
Topic:
African American men
Portraits
Local number:
ACMA PH2005.7002.041
Cite as:
The Sullivan Family papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Savina Martin, Dominga Martin and Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper
See more items in:
Sullivan family papers 1860-1994 bulk 1920-1960
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Sam Polite [Gullah informant] repairing a fish net on St. Helena Island, S.C

Creator:
Turner, Lorenzo Dow 1890-1972
Physical description:
1 photographic print: black and white, 3.5 x 2.5 in
Culture:
African American
Gullahs
Type:
Photographic prints
Place:
United States of America, South Carolina, Frogmore
South Carolina
United States
Date:
1931
1931-1933
Topic:
African American men
Local number:
ACMA PH2003.7064.305
Summary:
Lorenzo Dow Turner took this image while doing research in the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia between 1931 and 1933
Cite as:
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Lois Turner Williams
See more items in:
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers 1895-1972
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Gullah man riding a bull

Creator:
Turner, Lorenzo Dow 1890-1972
Physical description:
1 photographic print: black and white, 3.5 x 2.5 in
Culture:
African American
Gullahs
Type:
Photographic prints
Place:
United States
Date:
1931
1931-1933
Topic:
African American men
Local number:
ACMA PH2003.7064.316
Summary:
Lorenzo Dow Turner took this image while doing research in the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia between 1931 and 1933
Cite as:
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Lois Turner Williams
See more items in:
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers 1895-1972
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Gullah man standing by tree

Creator:
Turner, Lorenzo Dow 1890-1972
Physical description:
1 photographic print: black and white, 3.5 x 2.5 in
Culture:
African American
Gullahs
Type:
Photographic prints
Place:
United States
Date:
1931
1931-1933
Topic:
African American men
Local number:
ACMA PH2003.7064.317
Summary:
Lorenzo Dow Turner took this image while doing research in the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia between 1931 and 1933
Cite as:
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Lois Turner Williams
See more items in:
Lorenzo Dow Turner papers 1895-1972
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

[Glenwood Green Acres] [slide]: the major domo garden coordinator tending his plot

Photographer:
Beckoff, Ira
Physical description:
1 slide: col. 35 mm
Type:
Projected media
Place:
United States of America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County, Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
Philadelphia
Glenwood Green Acres (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Date:
1996
1996 Aug
Topic:
Gardens
Community gardens
Urban gardens
Vegetable gardening
Men
Houses
Gardeners
Trees
Utility poles
Local number:
PA353006
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens
Visitor Tag(s):

Antislavery Medallion

Maker:
Josiah Wedgwood & Sons
Physical Description:
ceramic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
refined stoneware (overall material)
Object Name:
medallion
Place Made:
United Kingdom: England, Staffordshire
Date made:
after 1787
Subject:
Art
Clothing & Accessories
Government, Politics, and Reform
Slavery
Blacks
National Treasures exhibit
Related Publication:
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title:
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author:
National Museum of American History
Publication URL:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/treasures
Credit Line:
Lloyd E. Hawes
ID Number:
CE*68.150
Catalog number:
68.150
1987.0005.51
Accession number:
1987.0005
Description:
This medallion, first made in 1787, became a popular icon in the British movement for the abolition of the slave trade in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Staffordshire pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood probably engaged sculptor Henry Webber to create the design of a kneeling slave, his hands in chains, a figure based on the cameo gemstones of antiquity. The modeler, William Hackwood, then prepared the medallion for production in Wedgwood’s black jasper against a white ground of the same ceramic paste. Above the figure the words “AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER” appeal to the reason and sentiment of late-eighteenth-century men and women, disturbed by accounts of atrocities committed on the trans-Atlantic slave trade routes, and informed by abolitionist literature distributed in coffee-houses, taverns, public assembly rooms, reading societies, and private homes. The medallion expressed in material form the growing horror at the barbarous practices of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the premises upon which that trade thrived. Wedgwood produced the medallion for the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave trade, founded in 1787 by Thomas Clarkson, who in 1786 published his Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species. Wedgwood was a member of the Committee – later known as the Society for the Abolition of the Slave trade - and it is likely that distribution of the medallions took place through the organization, and that Wedgwood bore the costs himself.
In America, Quaker groups were active in their opposition to the slave trade in the late seventeenth century. When British opposition emerged in the 18th century from among the non-conformist congregations - Quakers, Methodists, Baptists, and Unitarians – communication between the North American and British groups was quickly established. In 1788, Josiah Wedgwood sent a packet of his medallions to Benjamin Franklin, then president of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, with the words “It gives me great pleasure to be embarked on this occasion in the same great and good cause with you, and I ardently hope for the final completion of our wishes.” Franklin wrote to Wedgwood: "I am persuaded [the medallion] may have an Effect equal to that of the best written Pamphlet in procuring favour to those oppressed people." Neither Franklin, nor Wedgwood, lived to see those wishes fulfilled.
The medallion became the emblem for the British movement carried forward by Thomas Clarkson and William Wilberforce, leading to Parliament’s abolition of the slave trade in 1807. Men and women appropriated the cameo for personal ornament on snuff-box lids, shoe buckles, hair pins, pendants, and bracelets. By 1807, and before the abolition of slavery in all the British colonies in 1838, many versions of the kneeling slave found their way onto the surface of artifacts made in ceramic, metal, glass and fabric. The representation of the slave in the Wedgwood medallion carries several conflicting meanings. Here we see a man on his knees, pleading to his white masters, and perhaps to God at a time when many slaves took the Christian faith. The rhetorical question, “AM I NOT A MAN AND A BROTHER”, calls for pity, but at the same time demands a review of the black African’s place in the world as fellow human being, rather than a separate species, a status conferred upon them by slave owners and traders. The image of the kneeling slave is noble, but at the same time without threat; he kneels, and he is in chains. He may represent the literary figure of the “noble savage,” and at the same time draw forth in late 18th-century white men and women their sense of magnanimity. Materially, the medallion underscores the message with the figure rendered in black on a white, or in some versions a pale straw-colored background.
Against fierce opposition, and for all their contradictions, hypocrisies, and ill-informed sentiments, the British campaigners for the abolition of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and for the abolition of slavery, were astonishingly successful in achieving their aims. Strategies like widespread petitioning, the distribution of leaflets, pamphlets, and printed images, and the production of artifacts like this medallion, established the tactics for subsequent political and social pressure groups on local, national, and now on a global scale. The printed T-shirt, badges, and mugs distributed or sold today are the descendents of the Wedgwood medallion.
Guyatt, M. “The Wedgwood Slave Medallion,” Journal of Design History, 13, no. 2 (2000): 93-105
Margolin, S. “And Freedom to the Slave”: Antislavery ceramics, 1787-1865, Ceramics in America, edited by Robert Hunter (Hanover and London: Chipstone Foundation, 2002), pp. 80-109
Myers, S. ‘Wedgwood’s Slave Medallion and its Anti-Slavery Legacy’
Walvin, J. “British Abolitionism, 1787-1838,” Transatlantic Slavery: Against Human Dignity, edited by Anthony Tibbles (London: HMSO and National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside, 1994), pp. 87-95
See more items in:
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
National Treasures exhibit
Exhibition:
Exhibit:
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Visitor Tag(s):

Rude Implements. (Paleo Type)

Donor Name:
George B. Frazar
Object Type:
Biface
Place:
Arlington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, North America
Accession Date:
1892
Topic:
Archaeology
Accession Number:
026569
USNM Number:
A149593-0
Specimen Count:
15
Record Last Modified:
12 Jan 2009
See more items in:
Anthropology
Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.
Visitor Tag(s):

Navaho Rider Looking at Lost Horses 1941 Painting

Creator:
Tahoma, Quincy
Physical description:
1 leaf
Culture:
Navajo Indians
Indians of North America Southwest, New
Type:
Works of art
Date:
1941
Local number:
NAA INV 08806200
Cite as:
Manuscript Acee Blue Eagle Papers: Paintings and Prints by Indian Artists: Tahoma, Quincy, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Acee Blue Eagle Papers 1935-1959
Data Source:
National Anthropological Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

Additional Online Media:

Theodore M. Sullivan in army uniform

Physical description:
1 photographic print: gelatin silver, 5.375 x 3.375 in
Culture:
African American
Type:
Photographic prints
Place:
Boston, (Mass.)
United States
Date:
1918
Topic:
African American soldiers
Portraits
World War, 1914-1918--African Americans
Local number:
ACMA PH2005.7002.046
Cite as:
The Sullivan Family papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Savina Martin, Dominga Martin and Donna Akiba Sullivan Harper
See more items in:
Sullivan family papers 1860-1994 bulk 1920-1960
Data Source:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
Visitor Tag(s):

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