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ca. 1900 Unidentified carved and painted wood, glass beads, and brass tacks 11 5/8 x 6 1/2 x 6 7/8 in. (29.6 x 16.5 x 17.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.336A-B Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 25B

Luce Center Label

An unknown artist in the National Military Home in Dayton, Ohio, created this piece. The facility, established in the 1860s, housed several thousand military veterans, who occupied their time with painting and wood carving. The figure appears to be Middle Eastern. The phrase on his turban, Alah Il Alah (correctly spelled Allah Il Allah), meaning “God is God,” is from a Muslim prayer, but this gives us no clue as to why the artist chose this image.


Animal - reptile - snake

Dress - accessory - hat


Ethnic - Arabian

Figure male - head


folk art


metal - brass