late 1800s-early 1900s
Wood, cloth, organic material, and copper alloy
Overall: 23.5 x 7.5 x 8 cm (9 1/4 x 2 15/16 x 3 1/8 in.); without base: 23.3 cm (9 3/16 in.)
René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.431
This figure was the Delennes' first African art acquisition; it symbolized Rene and Odette’s first meeting.
This figure was the Delennes' first African art acquisition. They purchased the work in Paris in 1958—the year they were married—from the then leading French dealer Henri Kamer. The couple's interest in African art, which also inspired this particular acquisition, was triggered by their visit to the Congolese pavilion at the Brussels world's fair that same year. This experience made a lasting impression and triggered a lifelong appreciation for the art of what was then still the Belgian Congo. Although Odette later admitted that she knew that this figure was not the best example of Teke art, she and her husband held on to it because it served as a personal souvenir of their meeting each other.
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