Gelatin silver print
Image: 16.5 x 12.1 cm (6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Whitehill Art Purchase Endowment Fund 2022.245
In the 1990s, the international art world suddenly recognized that there had been a golden age of portrait photography in Mali, West Africa.
Malick Sidibé opened his portrait studio in 1962, two years after Mali gained independence. In this rigidly symmetrical family portrait, two daughters flank the father, while the son is seated on the ground holding a musical instrument. The whole family wears traditional African garb, although their jewelry and watches are Western in style. The sitters’ expressions are solemn, as befits the formal occasion of having one’s likeness recorded for posterity.
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