Gelatin silver print
Image: 30.5 x 24.1 cm (12 x 9 1/2 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. Richard W. Whitehill Art Purchase Endowment Fund 2022.246
Malick Sidibé opened his portrait studio in 1962, two years after the Federation of Mali, formerly part of the French Sudan, became independent.
Smiles radiate from the sitters in Portrait of Two Women, 1979, demonstrating their pleasure at this commemoration of their friendship. Elaborately braided hairdos and African-print fabric dresses (made, albeit, in Western styles) signal a pride in traditional African artforms that accompanied the pride in nationalism.
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