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Portrait of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny

Artist/Maker: Artist Unknown (Artist Unknown)

Date: not dated
Medium: color halftone print
Sight: 18 1/2 x 11 7/8 in. (47 x 30.2 cm)
Classification: Art Works
Credit Line: Gift of Alan Potamkin
Object number: 2007.48.92.2
DescriptionThe late president of the Ivory Coast, Houphouet Boigny, was born near the village of Kami in the Baule area. When he died in 1993, the Baule, more than most Ivoirians, felt a keen sense of loss. This portrait figure of Boigny was undoubtedly carved while he was still alive and was based on the poster included with it in the collection. The Baule have a tradition of carving images of people they wish to honor, although those images are more likely to be masks than figures. Baule figures are personal spirits whose presence provides blessings and guidance to their human caretaker. Against the background of these traditions, a portrait honoring the president as a special protector of the Baule is not surprising, and, in fact, seems quite appropriate. The figure is idealized and exquisitely detailed in keeping with the Baule carving tradition.
Not on view
In Collection(s)