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1998 Ronna Neuenschwander Born: Hoxie, Kansas 1954 painted and sawdust-fired earthenware with terra sigillata, cut and formed tin, and teeth 16 1/2 x 15 x 13 1/2 in. (41.9 x 38.1 x 34.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art 1998.136 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 52B

Luce Center Quote

“The untold stories of family, friends, neighbors, and passers-by of differing ‘worlds’ must intersect at some point for us to flourish rather than merely survive. This is what I value [in] my art.” Ronna Neuenschwander, 2002

Luce Center Label

Ronna Neuenschwander’s sculptures of the human figure tell the stories of the people of Mali. In Obsession, a man is biting into his wrist while stretching away from his other hand, which is withered and small. This obvious reference to hunger contrasts with the garish collage of food labels that make up the figure’s outfit. In this way, the artist calls attention to the abundance that Westerners take for granted.


Ethnic - African-American

Figure male - full length

State of being - illness - insanity

decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

animal parts - bone

ceramic - earthenware

metal - tin