Initiation, Liberia

  • Loïs Mailou Jones, Initiation, Liberia, 1983, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of the artist, 2006.24.7

Exhibition Label
Jones was especially sensitive to the rights and roles of women. For many years she felt forced to ship rather than deliver her work in person to exhibitions so museums would not reject them because they had been done by a black female artist. In Initiation, Liberia, she interpreted the Sande society initiation ritual. The swath of white paint across the young woman’s eyes indicates her role as an initiate. The mask partly obscures her distinctive personality but combined with the receding profiles at the left of her head, suggests continuity over generations that is implied by the ritual ceremony.


African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012
Title
Initiation, Liberia
Artist
Date
1983
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
35 1/4 x 23 1/4 in. (89.6 x 59.1 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of the artist

Mediums
Mediums Description
acrylic on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Allegory – life – womanhood
  • Ethnic – African
  • Figure female – head
Object Number
2006.24.7
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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