Jan 3, 2014
Jan 3, 2014

Mother Europe Cares for Her Colonies

Mother Europe Cares for Her Colonies


László Moholy-Nagy

(American, 1895-1946)

Gelatin silver print of a collage

Image: 16.1 x 12.3 cm (6 5/16 x 4 13/16 in.); Paper: 18.7 x 13.4 cm (7 3/8 x 5 1/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2007.96



For Moholy-Nagy, the densely packed variation of collage that he termed fotoplastik (photosculpture) comprising mounted fragments of photographs "assembled on one plane . . . making for easier intelligibility, even revelation of an otherwise hidden meaning." He considered a fotoplastik finished only when seen in reproduction, such as the photograph here. This work is known under two titles, Birthmark Salome (Muttermal Salome) and Mother Europe Cares for Her Colonies. The latter is an overtly political reflection of anti-colonialist sentiments. Ironically, the picture shows two Africans, not a European. The washing of the child is indeed a caring act, although one he does not appear to appreciate.

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