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Female Portrait Walking Stick

18th-19th century Unidentified wood carved in high relief Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. 1998.84.49 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing

Luce Center Label

Artists decorate canes with a wide variety of images, from traditional carvings of snakes and birds, to nude women, political figures, and celebrities. Some artists highlight the natural shape of the wood by applying relief designs onto twisted branches and roots, while others carve three-dimensional shapes into the shaft. Images of animals are the most popular decoration, but many canes also show patriotic, fraternal, and political themes. (George Meyer, American Folk Art Canes, 1992)


Figure female - full length

decorative arts

folk art