Intersections

Arts for Spiritual Transcendence

Many cultures around the world use art to cope with life’s mysteries and misfortunes. Some objects serve as agents of change or as abodes for spirits. Properly constructed and addressed or worshipped, such works of art may prompt the spirit to act. In most world religions, sculptures made for temples, shrines, and churches are intended as focal points for devotion. Their iconography makes them accessible to a wide range of followers, and their role is to mediate between human and divine realms.

The ability of a work of art to solicit spiritual aid is not restricted to formal world religions but is also observed in local contexts through objects of personal assistance and devotion. Throughout Africa figures are made to heal and protect individuals and their families. The Japanese ema and Mexican retablo also help believers to transcend obstacles such as illness, bereavement, or other problems, and their detailed iconography often indicates the intervention sought or provided.

  • X64.118a,b Bottle

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    Object Name: Bottle

    Artist: Unknown

    Cultural Group: Yaka peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date: 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 8.50 cm, W: 6.00 cm, D: 6.00 cm

    Materials Used: Wood, beads, string

    Credit Line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase. X64.118a,b

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  • X65.7493 Figure

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    Figure
    Songye peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    19th century
    Wood, metal, reptile skin, hide
    H: 16.50 cm, W: 4.40 cm, D: 7.00 cm (H: 6.5 in, W: 1.7 in, D: 2.8 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7493

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  • X65.7497 Female with child

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    Not Currently On View in Intersections

     

    Female with child
    Yombe peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Late 19th century
    Wood and glass
    H: 40.0 cm, W: 11.4 cm, D: 11.0 cm (H: 15.7 in, W: 4.5 in, D: 4.3 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.7497

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  • X65.7498 Seated male figure

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    Object Name: Seated male figure

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Yombe peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: Late 19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood and glass

    Dimensions: H: 30.5 cm, W: 9.5 cm, D: 12.0 cm (H: 12.0 in, W: 3.7 in, D: 4.7 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X65.7498

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  • X65.8501 Power figure (nkisi)

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    Power figure (nkisi)
    Yombe peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    18th-19th century
    Wood, mirror, resin, glass, cane, fiber, seedpod, jawbone
    H: 25.5 cm, W: 12.5 cm, D: 13.0 cm (H: 10.0 in, W: 4.9 in, D: 5.1 in)
    Gift of the Wellcome Trust. X65.8501

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  • X67.879 Power figure (nkisi)

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    Object Name: Power figure (nkisi)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Yombe peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: 18th-19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, camwood, pigment, mirror, fiber, metal, chain

    Dimensions: H: 26.5 cm, W: 22.0 cm, D: 17.0 cm (H: 10.4 in, W: 8.6 in, D: 6.7 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

    Accession Number: X67.879

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  • X74.1212 Retablo

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    Retablo
    Mexico
    Late 19th century
    Tin and paint
    L: 26.5 cm, H: 36.0 cm (L: 10.4 in, H: 14.2 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. Leonard J. Field. X74.1212

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  • X74.1215 Retablo

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    Retablo
    Mexico
    Early 20th century
    Tin and paint
    L: 23.0 cm, H: 28.0 cm (L: 9.1 in, H: 11.0 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. Leonard J. Field. X74.1215

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  • X74.1433 Yogini figure

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    Yogini figure
    Central India, Madhya Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh
    Circa 1000 C.E.
    Sandstone
    H: 89.0 cm, W: 47.3 cm, D: 28.0 cm (H: 35 in, W: 18.6 in, D: 11.0 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lenart. X74.1433

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  • X74.L360 Priest’s staff (tunggal panaluan)

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    Object Name: Priest’s staff (tunggal panaluan)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Batak peoples

    Place of Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia

    Date/Era: 19th to early 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, feathers, cotton cloth, hair

    Dimensions: H: 180 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Miguel Covarrubias Collection.

    Accession Number: X74.L360

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  • X75.58a-c Buddha figure

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    Buddha figure
    Sagaing, Burma
    17th century
    Gilded lacquer and wood
    Total Height: 123.0 cm, H: 106.0 cm, W: 66.5 cm, D: 36.0 cm (Total: 48.4 in, H: 41.7 in, W: 26.2 in, D: 14.2 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. Louis Resnik. X75.58a-c

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  • X78.1719 Female figure with child

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    Female figure with child (mbulenga)
    Lulua peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    19th century
    Wood, pins, camwood
    H: 16.5 cm, D: 3.2 cm (H: 6.5 in, D: 1.3 in)
    Gift of Lee and Dona Bronson. X78.1719

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  • X80.202ab Santo figure (Virgin of the Rosary)

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    Object Name: Santo figure (Virgin of the Rosary)

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Guatemala

    Date/Era: Early 20th century

    Dimensions: Total Height: 65.0 cm, H: 55.0 cm, W: 22.3 cm, D: 17.2 cm (Total Height: 25.9 in, H: 21.6 in, W: 8.7 in)

    Medium/Materials: Wood, paint, metal

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. James H. Kindel, Jr.

    Accession Number: X80.202ab

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  • X80.875a,b Figure

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    Figure
    Songye peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    19th century
    Wood, pigment, cowrie shells, vegetable fiber, nails, metal, horn
    Total Height: 91.0 cm, H: 70.0 cm, W: 17.0 cm, D: 20.0 cm (Total: 35.8 in, H: 27.6 in, W: 6.7 in, D: 7.9 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Bell. X80.875a,b

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  • X82.1541 Santo, San Jacinto

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    Santo, San Jacinto
    Philippines
    19th century
    Wood and paint
    H: 129.0 cm, W: 45.0 cm, D: 33.0 cm (H: 50.8 in, W: 17.7 in, D: 12.9 in)
    Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Lloyd Davis. X82.1541

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  • X85.974 Figure (pindi)

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    Object Name: Figure (pindi)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Mbala peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: 19th to early 20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood and camwood powder

    Dimensions: H: 30.5 cm, W: 13.1 cm, D: 11.3 cm (H: 12.0 in, W: 5.2 in, D: 4.5 in)

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Jerome L. Joss.

    Accession Number: X85.974

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  • X86.1947 Figure

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    Figure
    Yaka peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    19th century
    Wood
    W: 5.8 cm, H: 29.8 cm, D: 7.1 cm (W: 2.3 in, H: 11.7 in, D: 2.8 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous gift. X86.1947

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  • X87.1440 Figure

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    Figure
    Songye peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    19th century
    Wood, copper, antelope horn
    H: 31.5 cm, W: 7.5 cm, D: 8.0 cm (H: 12.4 in, W: 2.9 in, D: 3.1 in)
    The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X87.1440

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  • X87.1465 Female figure

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    Female figure
    Bembe peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    19th century
    Wood and shell
    H: 15.3 cm, W: 6.0 cm, D: 6.5 cm (H: 6.0 in, W: 2.4 in, D: 2.6 in)
    The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X87.1465

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  • X87.1467 Female figure

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    Female figure
    Bembe peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    19th century
    Wood and mother-of-pearl
    H: 16.0 cm, W: 6.0 cm, D: 4.3 cm (H: 6.3 in, W: 2.4 in, D: 1.7 in)
    The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X87.1467

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  • X87.1477 Male figure (nkisi)

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    Male figure (nkisi)
    Yombe peoples
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    19th century
    Wood, seeds, glass
    H: 23.0 cm, W: 9.0 cm, D: 7.1 cm (H: 9.1 in, W: 3.5 in, D: 2.8 in)
    The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X87.1477

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  • X89.821 Votive plaque (ema)

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    Votive plaque (ema)
    Tokyo, Japan
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Wood and paint
    H: 15.5 cm, W: 25.4 cm, D: 1.8 cm (H: 6.1 in, W: 10 in, D: .71 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. Daniel C. Holtom. X89.821

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  • X89.846 Votive plaque (ema)

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    Votive plaque (ema)
    Japan
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Wood and paint
    H: 23.6 cm, W: 33.4 cm, D: 1.2 cm (H: 9.3 in, W: 13.1 in, D: .47 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. Daniel C. Holtom. X89.846

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  • X89.847 Votive plaque (ema)

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    Votive plaque (ema)
    Japan
    1917
    Wood and paint
    H: 22.7 cm, W: 30.0 cm, D: 1.0 cm (H: 8.9 in, W: 11.8 in, D: .39 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. Daniel C. Holtom. X89.847

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  • X89.859 Votive plaque (ema)

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    Votive plaque (ema)
    Japan
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Wood and paint
    H: 17.6 cm, W: 21.8 cm, D: 2.0 cm (H: 6.9 in, W: 8.6 in, D: .79 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. Daniel C. Holtom. X89.859

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  • X89.863 Votive plaque (ema)

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    Votive plaque (ema)
    Japan
    1895
    Wood and paint
    H: 24.6 cm, W: 31.6 cm, D: 2.0 cm (H: 9.7 in, W: 12.4 in, D: .79 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. Daniel C. Holtom. X89.863

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  • X89.864 Votive plaque (ema)

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    Votive plaque (ema)
    Japan
    1935
    Wood and paint
    H: 23.0 cm, W: 29.4 cm, D: 1.2 cm (H: 9.1 in, W: 11.6 in, D: .47 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. Daniel C. Holtom. X89.864

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  • X89.872 Votive plaque (ema)

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    Votive plaque (ema)
    Japan
    Early 20th century
    Wood and paint
    H: 32.5 cm, W: 47.6 cm, D: 2.0 cm (H: 12.8 in, W: 18.7 in, D: .79 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. Daniel C. Holtom. X89.872

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  • X90.593 Retablo

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    Retablo
    Mexico
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Tin and paint
    H: 35.0 cm, W: 24.5 cm (H: 13.8 in, W: 9.6 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Donald B. and Dorothy M. Cordry. X90.593

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  • X91.4615 Retablo

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    Retablo
    Mexico
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Tin and paint
    H: 36.0 cm, W: 25.5 cm (H: 14.2 in, W: 10.0 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Lenore Hoag Mulryan. X91.4615

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  • X91.4631 Retablo

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    Retablo
    Mexico
    Late 19th-early 20th century
    Tin and paint
    H: 35.5 cm, W: 25.0 cm (H: 13.9 in, W: 9.8 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Lenore Hoag Mulryan. X91.4631

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  • X96.42.13 Retablo for Saint Jerome (San Jerónimo)

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    Object Name: Retablo for Saint Jerome (San Jerónimo)

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: Mexico

    Date/Era: Late 19th to early 20th century

    Dimensions: H: 36.4 cm, W: 27.0 cm, D: 2.0 cm (H: 14.3 in, W: 10.6 in, D: .79 in)

    Medium/Materials: Metal, paint, glass

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Lenore Hoag Mulryan.

    Accession Number: X96.42.13

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