Hefty Sum: Central African Throwing Knife Currency

Throwing Knife, 19th CenturyKapsiki culture; Cameroon or NigeriaIron, rubber and cloth; 24 1/8 x 5 3/8 in.2003.43.91Anonymous GiftThrowing Knife (Ngwolo), 19th CenturyNgombe culture; Democratic Republic of the CongoIron, wood; 19 3/8 x 12 1/2 in.2003.43.92Anonymous GiftThrowing Knife (Sengese), 19th CenturyMafa culture; Cameroon or NigeriaIron, fib...

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Two Photographers Outside of Orange, California

Bowers Museum’s Bell Tower, c. 1932Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 11 x 14 in.38107.11Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Borders Same Blog, New Home This week the Bowers Blog is happy to announce a re-release on a new platform! As we continue to improve the way in which we share our collections, we take...

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House of the Head

Orí, the Head Orí, the Yoruba word for head is also the complicated god of the head and destiny in the Yoruban pantheon. In the traditional Yoruba religion of southwest Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, before one is born they stand before a wall of potential destinies and choose their own ìbòrí, which directly translates to ‘inner head’ but as with O...

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Three Vignettes of Frank Coburn

Street Scene in the Rain, c.1921Frank Coburn (American, 1862-1938)Oil on canvas; 23 × 27 1/2 in.3953Gift of Georgia DeLong in memory of her brother, Frank Coburn Beginning For painters like Frank Coburn, capturing beauty began with finding it in places where few others could see it. Much of Coburn’s oeuvre is represented by the bright and picturesq...

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Seat of Power: Prestige Chairs of the Chokwe

Chair (Ngundja), early 20th to mid CenturyChokwe culture; AngolaWood, metal and leather; 19 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 13 in.2007.4.55Gift of the Roschen Family Trust Have a Seat Driving to and from work, sitting at a desk, relaxing on the couch—we spend much of our time sitting down without paying too much attention to what we are sitting in. But as thrones, ...

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Yam Digging Sticks of the Abelam

Digging Sticks, 20th CenturyAbelam culture; East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia Wood and paint99.76.141; 2011.13.4; 97.138.1; and 2015.7.2Anonymous Gift; Bowers Museum Purchase; Anonymous Gift; and Gift of Mr. Michael Hamson Induction In the United States we understand competition all too well. We compete with neighbors over having the...

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Aloys Bohnen: A Cool Summer Night

Detail of Summer Night, c. 1925Aloys Bohnen (American, 1889-1967) Oil on canvas; 34 x 27 in.31163Gift of the James Earl Fraser Estate Into the Grove During the day Californian summers can become oppressively hot—to the point of us wondering if the day’s warmest hours wouldn’t be better passed in siesta. The few respites from this heat can be found ...

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Arthur Edwaine Beaumont and the Story Behind “The Red Bathing Suit”

The Red Bathing Suit, 1948Arthur Edwaine Beaumont (American, 1890-1978)Watercolor on paper;97.144Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Dreibelbis Arthur Edwin Crabbe was born on March 25, 1890 in Thorpe-St. Andrew, England. His father was a medical attendant in the British Military, and his mother was a nurse who encouraged her five children to draw and pain...

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Oh, Say Can You Scrimshaw

Scrimshaw of George Washington, early 19th CenturyUnknown artist (American); North AmericaSperm whale ivory and ink; 5 1/4 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.2011.25.56Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. Fink New England, Old American Carvings Independence Day is the annual celebration of all things American. For most, revelries might include fireworks, barbeque, throw...

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Hawaiian Lei Niho Palaoa

Necklace (Lei Niho Palaoa), early 19th CenturyHawaiian culture; Hawaii, United States, PolynesiaHair, fiber and walrus ivory; 11 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 2 1/2 in.2018.5.1Bowers Museum PurchasePhotograph courtesy of Bonhams A New Acquisition When it comes to Hawaiian necklaces, the subject can be a somewhat hairy one, though perhaps not for the reasons one mi...

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Imposition of Exposition Exhibition Export Ware

 Two Meiji-era Japanese exposition objects (2017.6.1a-h and 36756) on view in the Dr. Wan-Lin & Assumpta Kiang Family Foundation Rotunda.Globalization in the 19th and early 20th Centuries in many cases led to the butting of heads on a national scale, but the conflict served as a fantastic motivator for both art and tra...

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Crimped on these Jagger Seas

Pie Crimper, c. 1890Unknown artist (American); North AmericaSperm whale ivory and wood; 4 5/8 x 3 1/2 x 6 in. 2011.25.15Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkPies are made all over the world in sizes ranging from large table pies to small palm-sized pies, and for every size twice as many flavors exist. With all the variations, bakers need a way of dif...

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Weaving History: Kente Cloth and Naming Conventions in Ghana

Wrap-Around Garment (Kente), early to mid 20th CenturyAkan or Ewe culture; GhanaCotton and silk; 66 1/2 × 105 in.2016.15.30Anonymous Gift Like words composing complex thoughts, the colors and patterns of Ghana’s kente cloth work together to symbolize intricate ideas. The vibrantly-colored fabric not only tells of Ghana’s history; these textiles hav...

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On Ornamental Wings: Qing Dynasty Wooden Corbels

Corbels with Phoenix and Crane, 19th CenturyQing Dynasty; ChinaWood and pigments; 27 x 14 x 5 in.2001.58.13a,bGift of Kevin BranchDiagram dougong holding up a multi-inclined roof, from the architectural treatise Yingzao Fashi, 1103.To one degree or another, all objects run the gamut between form and function. In architectural terms this polari...

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On My Honor: The Legacy of the Boy Scouts of America

Weapons for Liberty, 1917Joseph Leyendecker (German-born American, 1874-1951)Paper; 35 x 25 ½ in. 96.41.5Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Weston F. Sprague Most everyone wants to be involved in something greater than themselves, and for many boys and young men in the United States it has historically been the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). On August 1, 1907, Rob...

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Society through the Looking Glass

Lorgnettes, 18th to early 20thCenturiesProbably France and United StatesMetal, tortoiseshell, lacquer, paint and glass2000.8.37, .39, .123Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Richard Preston  “…the inevitable lorgnette, the enemy of other people’s privacy.”–Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca 2000.8.37 in all three stages of unfolding. Lorgnettes, spectacles held in p...

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What Became of the Floating World

Two Prints from The Fifteen Views of Kyoto, 1950-1960Tomikichiro Tokuriki (Japanese, 1902–1999)Woodblock print on paper; 15 x 13 in.81.8.1J, KGift of Mr. Kerwin JacobsBeauty Reading a Letter, late 18th CenturyUtamaro (Japanese 1753-1806)Woodblock print on paper; 19 x 13 in.36124.1Evylena Nunn Miller Memorial CollectionUkiyo-e, the term for a s...

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Perfect Rings: Dimbo of Cenderawasih Bay

Glass Earrings (Dimbo), 19th CenturyWaropen culture; Cenderawasih (Geelvink) Bay, Papua Province, Indonesia, MelanesiaGlass2017.8.1-.5Bowers Museum PurchaseThough we may think of it now as an isolated, inaccessible part of the world, New Guinea has always been rich in organic and mineral resources; the peoples of its coasts welcome partners to comm...

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Fijian Kiakavo Dance Clubs

Dance Clubs (Kiakavo), 19th CenturyFiji, PolynesiaWood, fiber and pigment97.138.13, .17, and 2015.17.10Anonymous Gift and The George Stanley Lodin CollectionTwo late 19th Century  Fijian men hold clubs across their laps for a staged photograph. Bowers Museum CollectionGift of Mr. E. Morgan StanleyFijian Club SceneUp until and in the few d...

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Up to Snuff: Smokeless Tobacco Bottles from Around the World

Scrimshaw Snuff Box, c. 1870United StatesSperm whale ivory, silver and ink2011.25.18Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkSnuff Bottle, date unknownKenyaWood, metal and horn2013.7.9Gift of Doris L. BuckSnuff Bottle, late 20th CenturyJapanAntler97.11.2Gift of Dr. Murray and Brett ViaAround the WorldAt the height of its popularity, snuff was used throug...

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Kingdom of the Quartz Skull

Izok, 2010Harold Van Pelt (American, 1925-)Quartz and izoklakeiteL.2016.21.34a,bLoan courtesy of Harold and Erica Van Pelt© 2010 Harold and Erica Van PeltVan PeltOne need not be an explorer-archaeologist to come across incredible artifacts. For experts like Harold Van Pelt they can be made in the workshop. Van Pelt has spent the last 45 years maste...

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Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942)

Jar, 1931Nampeyo of Hano (1857-1942); Hano Pueblo, Hopi Reservation, ArizonaClay and paint; 7 x 8 x 4 1/2 in.36809.3Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Earl SandersWhat the Railway BroughtThe late 19th Century’s introduction of the rail to the Southwest was a gift and a curse for Southwestern United States’ Pueblo Territories. The immediate influx of cheap East Coa...

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Tami Feast Bowls and Yam-ey Thanksgivings

Feast Bowl, 20th CenturyCape Gloucester, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaWood and pigment; 9 × 44 1/2 × 25 1/4 in.2014.15.14Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Danny and Anne ShihBird is the WordThanksgiving is now upon us. Even in its earliest rendition, it was a celebration of thanks through the sharing of food with friends, family, and ne...

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Bowers Museum's Unofficial 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Consul the Educated Monkey, 1916-1918William Henry Robertson (Educational Novelty Company)Tin; 5 ½ by 6 in.30780aGift of Mrs. Anita L. AlexanderFor a Fistful of DollarsOriginal 1915 patent for Consul the Educated Monkey.Festive and wonderful as they all are, the holidays can be a time of much consternation when it comes to gift-giving. Especially c...

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J.B. Moore: More than One Way to Sell a Rug

Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, c. 1920Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New MexicoWool and pigment; 69 1/2 × 54 in.2016.12.4Gift of Dennis Aigner            Variant on J.B. Moore’s Plate XXX Rug, 1910-1920            Navajo; Crystal, San Juan County, New Mexico  &nbs...

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Spun Silver: Apron Counterweights of the Dong and Miao

S-Shaped Counterweight, 20th CenturyMiao or Dong culture; Guizhou, Hunan or Guangxi Province, ChinaSilver; 6 1/4 × 10 7/8 in.2015.26.59Anonymous Gift Glance at the Moon Alternate image of 2015.26.59.Silver was used as a currency in China as early as the turn of the common era. It is unclear when exactly the Dong and Miao of southern China bega...

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Dusk | Dawn

Evening on the River, 1883George Inness (American, 1825-1894)Oil on canvas; 33 3/4 x 48 x 3 in.F7664Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionSunset: 2017 EndsTwilight, c. 1860George Inness (American, 1825-1894)Every day comes to day’s end. In this twilight painted rivers, seas and skies—aching with shades of red, violet, and orange—all contest the ...

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Kava Drink: Fijian Yaqona Bowls and Dishes

Yaqona Bowl (Tanoa), late 19th to early 20th CenturyFiji, PolynesiaWood; 7 1/2 x 22 7/16 x 21 in. 99.43.7Donated by Rear Admiral Ralph and Sara GarrisonKava ChameleonWithin the last few decades, kava has found its way into the American social scene as a niche alternative to alcohol in being both a mild relaxant and an avenue to potential liver dama...

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Viper Vessels of Taiwan's Paiwan

Vessel with Snake Motifs, 18th CenturyPaiwan culture; Pingtung or Taitung County, TaiwanClay and wood; 15 x 11 1/2 in.2017.11.28-.29Gift of Anne and Long Shung ShihOne Hundred PacesThe hundred-pacer snake is a venomous pit viper indigenous to the same region occupied by the Paiwan of southern Taiwan. Hailed as an ancestor in several of their creati...

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Frey-ed Canvas: Conserving the Bowers' Pio Pico Painting

Don Pio Pico, 1868Henry J. Frey (American, b?-d?)Oil on canvas; 24 x 20 in.3513Gift of Mrs. John ForsterRepairing a Rogue’s Ranchero RepresentationAbout a year and a half ago the Bowers Museum Collections Blog published a post on our resident painting of Pio Pico. For years the painting had been exhibited by a perfunctory “Unknown Artist” label, bu...

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Swiss Army Pillows: Headrests of Eastern Africa

Headrest, 20th CenturyKaramojong culture; UgandaWood; 7 5/8 x 6 ¼ x 5 7/82017.11.31Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih  Sleep Like a Log Sleep is one of those fundamental human needs all peoples of the world unconsciously share in, but the trappings of sleep outside of beds, pillows, sheets, blankets, and duvets are rarely covered. Up until recen...

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They Sold Shell Hearts by the Sea Shore

Sailor's Valentine, late 19th CenturyProbably New Curiosity Shop (1879-1925); Bridgetown, BarbadosShell, wood and adhesive; 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 1 5/8 in. 2011.25.80Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. FinkFrom a Whaler’s HeartDespite whaling now being a somewhat romanticized New England tradition, romance was hard to keep alive during multi-year hunting ex...

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Grand Admiralty Island Feast Bowl

Feast Bowl, late 19th CenturyMatankol culture; Lou Island, Admiralty Islands, Manus Province, Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea, MelanesiaWood and parinarium nut paste; 24 ½ x 54 ½ x 41 in. 2018.1.1Bowers Museum PurchaseHomes on the neighboring M'Buke Island.Photograph by Peter Keller, 2006.King of BowlsOf the many types of wooden bowl from th...

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Marvel of Design: Sources for Costume Design in Black Panther

Gold Ear Ornaments (Kwottenai), 20th CenturyFulani culture; MaliGold and yarn; 9 x 8 1/2 in. of Bowers Museum Collector's CouncilWakanda ForeverMarvel Studios’ newly released Black Panther (2018)—a film about T’Challa, the superhero monarch of the fictional African nation of Wakanda—features an incredible fusion of traditional Afric...

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Lucy Lewis (1898-1992)

Jar, c. 1981Lucy Lewis (1898-1992); Acoma Pueblo, New MexicoClay and paint; 5 x 10 1/4 in.F81.61.1Gift of the ArtistPotter of the CenturyPhotograph of Lucy Lewis painting a vessel.With the influx of western products that the pueblos of the American Southwest saw during the 19th Century, many traditional Native American art forms such as pottery onl...

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Shamrocks for a Glam Box: Placentia Mutual's Signature Brand

Shamrock Brand Citrus Crate Label, 1930-1939Western Lithograph Company (American, 1908-1985); Los Angeles, CaliforniaChromolithograph; 10 x 10 ¾ in.82.59.2Gift of Mr. Andrew E. CoenSt. Patrick’s DayStereotypical symbols like leprechauns and their pots of gold may seem hackneyed, but the shamrock—characteristically a species of three-leaf clover—sta...

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The First Warbles of Spring

Scene from Tale of Genji Chapter 23, “Hatsune (First Warbler)”, 1890Yōshū Chikanobu (Japanese, 1838-1912); Tokyo, JapanWoodblock print on paper; 21 1/2 x 33 in.94.64.8Gift of Mr. William DrellTale of the EquinoxSpring is in the air! The spring equinox, which occurred Tuesday, March 20th, provides the possibility for rebirth, renewal, and regrowth. ...

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The Magnificent Floyd

Floyd E. Stewart Performing Magic, c. 1936Edward W. Cochems (American, 1874-1949); Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; Various Dimensions36247.3,.4Gift of Mrs. Weston Walker April Fools bring May LOL’sIt takes a rare skill to fool others, especially in a way which delights and entertains rather than leaves one somehow feeling cheated. The pref...

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Fair Weather Friends: 19th Century Parasols

Parasols, 19th and 20th CenturiesPossibly Paul Poiret (French, 1879-1944) and Unknown Makers; France and EnglandWood, metal, silk, cotton and pigments; Various dimensions32172C, 7992D and 7992AGift of Mrs. G. W. Pike (32172C) and Irene P. Cutter Memorial Doll Collection (7992D and 7992A) Parasols for Paris Souls The science of selecting t...

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The O'odham Maze of Life and Personhood

Plaque with "Labyrinth" Design, 20th CenturyPima culture; Southern ArizonaWillow, devil's claw and tule; 15 1/2 in.30070Gift of Mrs. Mary J. Newland Theseus, He Pleases Us Labyrinths play important roles in many cultures’ stories, persisting into modern pop culture with novels, film, and television. In HBO’s hit series Westworld, it is a maze ...

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Cabinet Card of Tom Morris

Untitled (Tom Morris, Sprinter)B.F. Conaway Studios; Santa Ana, CaliforniaAlbumen Print Cabinet Card; 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 in. 5788 Photograph of Tom Morris, a world famous sprinter during the 1890's. During the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 Morris exceeded all previous sprinting records. He lived for many years in Santa Ana disappearing suddenly and remai...

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Manilla Portfolio: West African Worn Currency

Manillas, 19th CenturyUnknown Manufacturer; probably Birmingham, EnglandLeaded brass; Various Dimensions2003.43.72-.79Anonymous Gift Who wants to be a Manillionaire? Some might like to make a grand show of wealth, but along the cost of West Africa, one could literally wear their net worth on their sleeve up until the mid 20th Century. At least unti...

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The Niue Club in Town

Cleaving Club (Ula-fumiti), early to mid 19th CenturyNiuean culture; Niue Island, PolynesiaWood; 68 7/8 x 5 x 1 ¼ in.2018.4.1Bowers Museum Purchase Behold the Cook-o-nut Captain Cook was the first European to travel to Niue, a small island in the middle of Polynesia, when he landed ashore late in the spring of 1774. His welcome to the small tropica...

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Father’s Day Pipe Dream

Pipe, 1000-1700Chumash culture; CaliforniaSteatite and clam shell beads; 1 9/16 x 1 x 12 3/16 in.80017Fred Randolph Aldrich Collection This is a Pipe Does the apotheotic father smoke a pipe? Perhaps he has not since at least the 1950s. Still though, a dad casually puffing on a pipe—maybe on a Sunday morning while reading the paper, fooling around w...

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Shark Caller's Tools

Shark Caller's Tools, 20th centuryKontu culture, Island of New Ireland, Papua New GuineaWood, reed, bamboo, coconut and paint 2002.65.1.1-.3Bowers Museum Purchase courtesy of the Trude Jordan Fund The Kontu people of the Island of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea use ritual customs to capture and kill sharks. Shark Callers believe that ancestral ...

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Japanese Wedding Kimono

Wedding Furisode Kimono (Furisode), c. 1900JapaneseSilk and threadF78.62.1Bowers Museum Purchase A woman’s first furisode (a long-sleeved kimono, literally “swinging sleeve”) is given to her at the age of 20 when she is recognized as an adult, allowed to vote, responsible for committing crimes and is officially allowed to smoke and drink. A furisod...

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These Are Not the Sculptures You’re Looking For

Ancestor Figure, 20th CenturySukuma culture; TanzaniaWood, metal and hair; 63 in.2002.58.1Gift of Heather Sacre May the Fourth… In an annual celebration of culture, science fiction, and a beloved galaxy not too near to here, the Bowers Blog once again uses May the Fourth to take the hyperspace plunge. Last year we featured a miniature made from a h...

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Hewes-ed from Stone

Busts of David Hewes and Franklina Gray, 1877Giuseppe Andreoni (Italian, 19th Century); Pisa, ItalyMarble; Various Dimensions2697, 32782Gifts of Mrs. D. Eyman Huff and Mr. & Mrs. James A. Moore Total Bust With American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times having just left the Bowers Museum this past weekend, the portraits section of the much...

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Maud “The Mom” McBroom

Basketry Olla, early 20th CenturyPima culture; Arizona, United StatesBear grass, willow and devil’s claw; 11 3/4 × 9 1/4 in.2018.3.3Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John and Elizabeth Stahr That’s Moms Moms are a fairly universal force of good in the world, seeking more often than not to safeguard their children’s wellbeing and ensure their happiness. Top scho...

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Who Answers the Cries: Guanyin at the Bowers

Guanyin Seated on a Lotus Flower, late Ming Dynasty (1600-1643)Han culture; ChinaWood and pigments; 49 x 16 x 11 in.2005.37.1Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Mercy Me Whether or not you recognize the name, if you have been to the Bowers you have seen at least one representation of Guanyin, the adopted Chinese bodhisattva and goddess of mercy. Woode...

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