Stool

images for Stool
Label Text
The Dogon describe the cosmos as two disks forming the sky and earth connected by a tree. The supporting figures represent the four pairs of nommo twins in their descent from sky to earth. These spiritual beings were involved in the creation of man and culture. The zigzag patterns suggest the path of their descent and flowing water and refer to the symbol of Lébé, the first human and priest who was transformed into a serpent after his death.
The dots of red, white and black pigment on the backs of the figures and on the center post are unusual. While Dogon masks have painted designs, figures and stools generally have encrusted or eroded surfaces indicative of ritual use.
Wood cylindrical stool supported by 4 pairs of figures and a central pole, with a relief carving of serpentine lines on the sides of the top and the base. A section of the top edge is heavily eroded. The center post and the backs of the figures show traces of red and black pigment, dot patterns.
Exhibition History
Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2017-ongoing
Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue - From the Collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Camille O. and William H. Cosby, Jr., National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, November 7, 2014-January 24, 2016
African Cosmos: Stellar Arts, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., June 20-December 9, 2012; Newark Museum, February 26-August 11, 2013; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, August 23-November 30, 2014; Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, Atlanta, January 31-June 21, 2015 (exhibited at NMAfA and Newark Museum)
African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., February 15, 2007-March 31, 2009
First Look: The Walt Disney-Tishman Collection of African Art, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., May 17-December 3, 2006
For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1981
Masterpieces of African Art: Tishman Collection, Israel Museum, Spertus Gallery, Jerusalem, Spring-Summer 1967
Published References
Jenke, Veronika. 2007. Explore! African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection. Exhibition booklet. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 9-10.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen. 2006. "African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection." Tribal Arts 43, p. 84, no. 9.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen. 2012. African Cosmos: Stellar Arts. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution; New York: Monacelli Press, p. 116, no. 7.2.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen, Bryna Freyer and Andrea Nicolls. 2007. African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 106, 124-125, fig. 34, no. 31.
Kreamer, Christine Mullen and Adrienne L. Childs (eds). 2014. Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue from the Collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Camille O. and William H. Cosby, Jr. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 99-100, 110, no. 62, pl. 39.
Muze'on Yisra'el. 1967. Masterpieces of African Art: Tishman Collection. Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, no. 78.
National Museum of African Art. 2007. 2007-2008 School Calendar: Featuring the new Let's Read about Africa and the Sounds of African Music programs. Museum calendar. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, February 2008.
Stokes, Deborah. 2012. African Cosmos: Stellar Arts Family Guide. Exhibition booklet. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, p. 9.
Vogel, Susan (ed). 1981. For Spirits and Kings: African Art from the Paul and Ruth Tishman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 18-19, no. 3.
Topic
Leadership
Ancestral
geometric motif
couple
National Museum of African Art
Dogon artist
Credit Line
Gift of Walt Disney World Co., a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company
Medium
Wood, pigment
Dimensions
H x W x D: 36.5 x 32.8 x 31.8 cm (14 3/8 x 12 15/16 x 12 1/2 in.)
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Exhibition
Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa's Arts
On View
NMAfA, Second Level Gallery (2193)
Geography
Mali
Possibly late 19th-early 20th century
Type
Furniture and Furnishing
Object number
2005-6-40