The Work of Art

The works in this exhibition are the products of artistic virtuosity and consummate skill. At the same time, they were created to fulfill specific purposes and roles in people’s lives. Their artistry and aesthetic presence were critical to their effectiveness. The outward appearance of an object—including its form and iconography—contributes to its ability to work, that is, its capacity to act. The beliefs and concepts that give objects power and meaning in turn dictate their aesthetic appearance. In other words, how art looks has much to do with how it works: form and function are closely intertwined.

  • X65.4344 Eharo Mask

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    Eharo mask
    Elema peoples, Papuan Gulf, Papua New Guinea
    Early 20th century
    Barkcloth, plant fiber, wood, human hair, paint, feathers
    X65.4344; Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

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  • X65.5837 Power figure

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    Object Name: Power figure (nkisi nkondi)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Yombe peoples

    Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Date/Era: 18th-19th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood, metal, nails, mirrors, cloth, cordage, beads, cowrie shell

    Dimensions: H: 114.3 cm

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

    Accession Number: X65.5837

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  • X65.7799 Mask

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    Object Name: Mask

    Artist: Unknown

    Place of Origin: New Caledonia, Melanesia

    Date/Era: 19th century

    Dimensions: H: 188.00 cm, W: 55.00 cm, D: 25.50 cm

    Medium/Materials: Wood, barkcloth, human hair, feathers, bamboo, cotton thread, plant fiber

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

    Accession Number: X65.7799

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  • X69.66AB Palace door-panels

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    Object Name: Palace door-panels

    Artist: Atelier of Areogun

    Culture: Yoruba peoples

    Place of Origin: Nigeria

    Date/Era: Early to mid-20th century

    Medium/Materials: Wood

    Dimensions: H: 182 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase.

    Accession Number: X69.66AB

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  • X86.1988 Man’s cloth (kente)

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    Object Name: Man’s cloth (kente)

    Artist: Unknown

    Culture: Asante peoples

    Place of Origin: Ghana

    Date/Era: 1930s – 1940s

    Medium/Materials: Rayon

    Dimensions: 296 x 180 cm

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Anonymous Gift.

    Accession Number: X86.1988

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  • X95.5.1 Crown

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    Object Name: Crown

    Artist: José Rodriguez (b. 1956)

    Place of Origin: Brooklyn, New York, United States

    Culture: Yoruba peoples

    Date/Era: 1997

    Dimensions: W: 22.0 cm, D: 24.0 cm, H: 60.5 cm (W: 8.7 in, D: 9.4 in, H: 23.8 in)

    Medium/Materials: Beads, thread, feathers, fabric, wood, shells

    Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Museum purchase, Commissioned by the Fowler Museum.

    Accession Number: X95.5.1

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  • X97.50.57 Head cloth

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    Head cloth (kain tangkuluak)
    Minangkabau peoples
    Pariangan, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia, 19th century
    Silk, gold-wrapped thread, ramie
    X97.50.57; Gift of Anne and John Summerfield

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  • X97.50.69 Shoulder cloth

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    Not currently on View in Intersections

    Minangkabau peoples
    Padang Magek, West Sumatra Province, Indonesia
    19th century
    Silk, gold-wrapped thread
    L: 267.0 cm, W: 84.5 cm (L: 105.1 in, W: 33.3 in)
    Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Anne and John Summerfield. X97.50.69

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