African, african american art, african american artist, African art, African Mask, Art, Art History, Artists, Black Art Historians, Black Art History, Blog, Iconography, sculpture

African Mask & Harlem Renaissance Art: Loïs Mailou Jones

Last month I found and shared  information about artist Lois Maillou Jones. I'm curious about African masks so I continue to explore the subject. I really enjoyed how she used these sculptures in her compositions. The above image is Les Fetiches, which displays multiple mask resting one over the other.

African, african american art, african american artist, African art, Art, Art History, Artists, Black Art Historians, Black Art History, Black Madonna, Black Women, Blog, Iconography, sculpture

“Madonna” by Elizabeth Catlett

From an early age I've always been fascinated by the Madonna and child imagery. "Madonna, in Christian art, depiction of the Virgin Mary; the term is usually restricted to those representations that are devotional rather than narrative and that show her in a nonhistorical context and emphasize later doctrinal or sentimental significance. The Madonna is accompanied most often by the infant Christ, [but she can be depicted alone.]" [1]

African, African art, African Mask, Art, Art History, Black Art History, Blog, Iconography, sculpture

Mask for Sande Society

The sowei mask evokes an ideal. The deep, shiny black surface recalls the smooth skin of young initiates and the deep pools of water where Sande’s guardian spirit resides. The downcast eyes, scarification marks, demure mouth, and styled hair communicate dignity and composure. Neck rings and a high forehead add to the mask’s beauty.

African, African art, African Mask, Art, Art History, Black Art History, Black Women, Blog, Iconography

Introduction to Sande Masks

The Sande Society is a fellowship of women found in West African cultures, which aims at preparing girls for adulthood. [2]

African, african american art, african american artist, African art, Art, Art History, Artists, Black Art Historians, Black Art History, Black Women, Blog

Harriet Powers – Folk Artist

Harriet Powers used traditional techniques in her quilts to record local legends, Bible stories and astronomical events on her quilts. One of the panels on Powers quilts illustrate the “dark day” of May 19, 1780 (which is now known as dense smoke over North America caused by Canadian wildfires) and the November 13, 1833, as the “night of falling stars” that convinced many terrified Americans that Judgment Day had come, but was later identified as the Leonid meteor storm. Two of her quilts are on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC; Bible Quilt of 1886 and Pictorial Quilt of 1898.[2]