Advanced Search

K-12 Educator
K-12 Student
Museum Visitor
UMMA Docent
UMMA Staff
University Faculty
University Student
Between and Mortarboard


UMMA Object Specific Fields






Query builder

Cabinet W: Shelf 3

Selections from the Helmut Stern Collection

The objects displayed in this case form part of the collection of Helmut Stern, a dedicated and discerning collector of African art whose focus is on objects from what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. This vast country is home to numerous ethnic groups, both large and small. In pre-colonial times, some of these groups were organized into centralized states, such as the Kongo and Kuba kingdoms, and many of the objects here are insignia of royal or ritual power, or both. The vessels, for example, would have been used by chiefs and traditional religious practitioners alike to hold palm wine, while the finely carved adze decorated with brass tacks represents one of the most important emblems of power among Hemba peoples. The disquieting “power objects,” which are known by a variety of local names among the Kongo and related peoples, were used as receptacles for spirit forces, which they attracted and enlivened through powerful substances incorporated into the object itself; they were handled and used by ritual specialists to heal and protect a person or to seek justice for crimes. The Stern collection has been described by the Congolese art historian Niangi Batulukisi as a very rich one, with works of high quality that “bear witness to the grandeur of the civilizations that produced them.”

Zaramo
Fertility Doll
wood
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.254
Dogon
Ritual Trough
wood
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.252
Zaramo
Doll Figure
wood, red beads
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.248
Zaramo
Fertility Doll
wood
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.257
Nzakara
Knife
1915 – 1925
iron, ivory
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.234
Zaramo
Fertility Doll
wood
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.256
Zaramo
Fertility Doll
wood
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.255
Wooden head with a long neck on a round base. The face is somewhat square and the ears are flat to the sides of the head. The mouth is long and thin, but open, revealing two rows of teeth. The nose is small and the eyes are almond-shaped, inset with metal. The eyebrows are thin and curved. Yellow, blue, and red pigments decorates the forehead and pointed hairstyle. 
Headdress
20th century
metal nails, wood, polychrome
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.246
Figure of a human head on a base covered with cowrie shells. The cowrie shells are covered in blue pigment and two strings of cowrie shells hang off the back and side of the figure. There is leather wrapped around the neck of the figure. The head of the figure, carved out of wood, has pointed ears and a conical hairstyle decorated with geometric patterns and lines. 
Yoruba
Figure
1901 – 1999
wood, cowrie shells, leather, blue pigment
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.247
Seated figure with crossed legs. The figure is holding an undecorated cup. He is wearing a vest and hat and is holding one hand to his chest. The figure sits on a stool, which rests on a drum. 
Yombe
Seated Figure
1880 – 1890
wood
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.186
Small, carved male figure, seated atop a block, with legs crossed. The naturalism with which the expressive face is carved, the high crested coiffure (or chiefly cap?) and the progressive foreshortening of the body show the importance given to the head in Yombe aesthetics. The figure's eyes are mirrored glass, and the upper body, face and head are studded with brass tacks. A slight vertical crack can be seen at the figure's sternum.<br />
The Yombe figure was identified for UMMA by Allen Roberts and Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts. There was a discrepency regarding the dating of the piece: the export paperwork said "circa 1830", but the dealer's catalogue said early 19th c. When asked to help resolve the dating, Polly Nooter Roberts replied: "As for the Yombe figure, I can tell you with certainty that it is NOT early 20th century, and is definitely from the 19th century, if not earlier. I cannot confirm the 1830 date, but I would be more inclined to believe that than the early 20th century. So, I think you can co
Yombe;Kongo
Seated Male Figure
1825 – 1875
wood, brass tacks, glass
Museum purchase made possible by the David L. Chambers and John G. Crane Fund for Acquisitions
1999/1.94
Kneeling human figure on top of a round, hollowed out base, suggesting that this may have been the top of a staff or flywhisk. The sculpture holds one hand on his thigh, while he is chewing on a munkwiza root with the other. 
Yombe
Figure
1855 – 1865
wood, resin
Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern
2005/1.185

0 Comments

0 Tags & 0 Keywords

Tags

Part of 1 Learning Collection

Cabinet A: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet A: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet A: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 3
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet D: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet D: Shelf 2
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet D: Shelf 3
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet E: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet E: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet E: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet F: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China </p>

Cabinet F: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet F: Shelf 3
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 3 
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China </p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 3
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 1
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 2
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 1
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 2
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 1
<p>Religious Sculpture from India</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 2
<p>Religious Sculpture from India</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 1
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 2
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 3
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet M: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Dora and William Hunter Coll...

Cabinet M: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Dora and William Hunter Coll...

Cabinet M: Shelf 3
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet N: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Margaret Watson Parker Colle...

Cabinet N: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Margaret Watson Parker Colle...

Cabinet N: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 1
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 2
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 1
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 2
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet Q: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 4
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 1
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 2
<p>Apostle Spoons and American Silver</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 3
<p>Modernist Glass and American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 4
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 1
<p>American Silver</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 2
<p>Tiffany Glass</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 3
<p>American Silver</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 1
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 2
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 3
<p>Native American Art</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 1
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 2
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 3
<p>Native American Art</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 1
<p>The Human Figure in African Art</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 2
<p>African Miniature Masks</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 3
<p>African Masks and Masquerades</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 1
<p>The Head in African Art</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Helmut Stern Collection</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Helmut Stern Collection</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 4
<p>African Masks and Masquerades</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 1
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 2
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 3
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 4
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Fusfeld Art Collection</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 2
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 3
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 4
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

24 Collection Object Sources

Fertility Doll (2005/1.254)
Ritual Trough (2005/1.252)
Doll Figure (2005/1.248)
Fertility Doll (2005/1.257)
Knife (2005/1.234)
Fertility Doll (2005/1.256)
Fertility Doll (2005/1.255)
Headdress (2005/1.246)
Figure (2005/1.247)
Seated Figure (2005/1.186)
Figure (2005/1.185)
Power Figure (2005/1.236)
Ancestor figure (2005/1.190)
Power Figure (2005/1.177)
Power Figure (2005/1.218)
Power Figure (2005/1.220.2)
Amulet Pendant (2005/1.199)
Amulet Pendant (2005/1.198)
Whistle (2005/1.202)
Power Figure (2005/1.220.1)
Amulet Pendant (2005/1.197)
Comb (2005/1.203)

Rate this Resource

AVG: 0 | Ratings: 0

& Author Notes

Creative Commons by-nc-sa

Last Updated

June 8, 2020 2:51 p.m.

Report


Reporting Policy