British Columbia, Canada
Kwakiutl / Bella Coola
Carved wood and pigments
Ex collection Philip Holstein, Aspen, Colorado
Ex collection Charles Murphy, Chicago
Length: 6 ½ in. (16.5 cm)
Exhibition & Literature:
Museu Valencià d’Etnologia
(Ethnology Museum, Valencia, Spain)
“Beyond Hollywood: American Indian Identities”, June-December 2018
Price: on request
The bird-man figure at the center of the frontlet is a clan crest and refers to the myths and spirit-guides associated with the possessor’s personal history and that of his family.
The sculpture is powerfully expressive. The painted decoration is sober and reinforces the impression of strength and sacredness that emanates from this ceremonial ornament.
As far as provenance is concerned, this frontlet belonged the antiques dealer Philip Holstein, an expert and museum curator. In the 1970s, he ceded it to Charles Murphy, a Chicago architect who was also a great collector of American Indian art.