Dallas Museum of Art Acquires Two Masterworks of African Art at Today’s Sotheby’s Auction of the Collection of Allan Stone

“Four Horn” Community Power Figure and Headcrest are Significant Additions to the DMA’s Nationally Acclaimed Collection

The Dallas Museum of Art has acquired two outstanding works of African art at today’s Sotheby’s, New York auction of the Collection of Allan Stone: African, Oceanic, and Indonesian Art. The collection is one of the finest private collections in the world of arts from primary cultures, and is best known for its strong holdings of power figures from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

These important new acquisitions include the greatly admired and sought after Songye “Four Horn” community power figure and a rare quality Efut headcrest. Both works strengthen the Museum’s collection of African art, a collection of nearly 2,000 works that is acclaimed as one of the top five of its kind in the United States.

“The ‘Four Horn’ power figure and headcrest are both remarkable examples of African art that will expand our audiences’ understanding of the innovative art and material culture of the diverse peoples of Africa,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director. “We are delighted to expand the Museum’s scholarship in this collecting area, and to share these iconic works of art with our community alongside other masterworks in our collection.”

Additional details on the works include:

“Four Horn” Community Power Figure (nkisi), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Songye peoples. Made with three Common Waterbuck Antelope (Kobus ellipsiprumnus) horns and one Domestic Goat (Capra hircus) horn attached to the head, a beaded collar of Common Waterbuck Antelope (Kobus ellipsiprumnus) hide around the neck, and an African Civet (Civettictis civetta) hide draped from the waist.

This exceptional Songye power figure has an intensely striking physical presence due to the dynamic contrast between the four prominent horns that radiate from the head and the serene quality of the face provided by the rare use of closed eyes. The metal additions to the face augment the value and texture to the figure. The size of the figure (21 inches) suggests its use either personally for a community leader or by a larger community. Widely published and exhibited, the “Four-Horn” statue from the Allan Stone Collection is “an icon of African art,” according to Sotheby’s in its description of the work, adding that “through this juxtaposition of opposing qualities, the unknown artist created one of the most arresting works of all figurative sculpture - a universal masterpiece.”

Headcrest, Attributed to Asikpo Edet Okun of Ibonda (active late 19th to early 20th century), Cross River Region, Nigeria, Efut peoples. The headcrest mask of wood armature covered in Red Duiker (Cephalophus natalensis) is the first work by the Efut peoples to enter the DMA's collection, and enriches the already substantial and prestigious collection of arts from Nigeria. It is a remarkable example of its type, which are relatively rare in museum collections. The four spiraling extensions of the hairstyle create a dynamic three-dimensionality to the mask.

About the Dallas Museum of Art and its African Art Collection
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, the Museum welcomes more than half a million visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy, and launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program in the country.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of Museum Partners and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

###

For more information, please contact:
Jill Bernstein
Dallas Museum of Art
214.922.1802
JBernstein@DMA.org

Alina Sumajin / AJ Fox
Resnicow Schroeder Associates
212-671-5155 / 5157
asumajin / afox@resnicowschroeder.com