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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

African & African American Art

  • End-blown flute (ndere)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    End-blown flute (ndere)

    19th century

    Dimensions

    Length 67.3 cm, width 2 cm (Length 26 1/2 in., width 13/16 in.)

    Medium

    Cane

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Aerophones

    Accession Number

    17.2184

    Collections
    Musical Instruments More Info

    Description

    Cylindrical body of cane, decorated with irregularly-spaced stripes of brown edged by black. Wrapped in five places with black cord (possibly later addition to stabilize cracks). Embouchure hole slightly beveled on outside. Three large widely-spaced fingerholes on flattened surface near distal end. In white paint: 8022. In ink near both ends: a / c.

    Multimedia

  • End-blown flute (wua)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    End-blown flute (wua)

    probably late 19th century

    Dimensions

    Length 17.9 cm, width 4.2 cm (Length 7 1/16 in., width 1 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, snakeskin, animal skin

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Aerophones

    Accession Number

    1984.294

    Collections
    Musical Instruments More Info

    Description

    Conical body of dark wood terminating in flattened Y-shape at top with beveled surface for circular embouchure hole. Upper half of body has three raised fingerholes and is wrapped with strips of snakeskin. Lower half of body wrapped with animal skin, and end pierced by hole for carrying cord.

    Multimedia

  • End-blown flute (wua)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    End-blown flute (wua)

    mid-20th century

    Dimensions

    Length 40.9 cm, width 8.5 cm (Length 16 1/8 in., width 3 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, snakeskin

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Aerophones

    Accession Number

    1984.296

    Collections
    Musical Instruments More Info

    Description

    Conical body of dark wood terminating in flattened Y-shape at top with beveled surface for circular embouchure hole. Bent "arms" project from each side, one containing fingerhole. Wrapped with strips of snakeskin except near lower end. Lower end pierced by hole for carrying cord.

    Multimedia

  • Lamellaphone (mbira)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Lamellaphone (mbira)

    mid-20th century

    Dimensions

    Length 23.7 cm, width 21 cm, depth 5 cm (Length 9 5/16 in., width 8 1/4 in., depth 1 15/16 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, iron, bottle caps

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Idiophones

    Accession Number

    1986.604

    Collections
    Musical Instruments
    On View
    103D More Info

    Description

    One-piece box-shaped body of fig tree wood (?), hollowed-out from one end about half way in. Twenty-four lamellae of iron held in place by straining bar of iron and iron wire. Wood backrest and iron bridge. Lower portion of soundtable surface covered by sheet of metal attached with iron wire, on top of which are nine bottle caps (some marked "Lion Lager"), each attached by iron wire.

    Multimedia

  • Country Doctor (Night Call)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Country Doctor (Night Call)

    1935

    Horace Pippin, American, 1888–1946

    Dimensions

    71.44 x 81.6 cm (28 1/8 x 32 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Oil on canvas

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    1970.47

    Collections
    Americas More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Tire Jumping in Front of My Window

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Tire Jumping in Front of My Window

    1936–47

    Allan Rohan Crite, American, 1910–2007

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 23 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (59.7 x 44.5 cm)

    Medium

    Oil on canvasboard

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    2007.3

    Collections
    Americas
    On View
    Blake & Purnell Gallery (20th c. Realism #2) - 327 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Arched harp (kundi)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Arched harp (kundi)

    late 19th century

    Dimensions

    Length 57 cm, width 14.5 cm (Length 22 7/16 in., 5 11/16 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, cowhide

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    Accession Number

    1994.194

    Collections
    Musical Instruments
    On View
    103D More Info

    Description

    Waisted boat-shaped body of wood wrapped with animal skin, held in place by single line of leather stitching along back. Two circular soundholes at opposite corners of sound table. Arched neck of wood terminating in carved elongated head of man with eyes made from white seed beads. Five strings of gut attached to lateral tuning pegs of wood (one later addition) and tied to strip of wood running beneath sound table. Painted in white at base of neck: FX93365

    Multimedia

  • Punch bowl from the "Jazz...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Punch bowl from the "Jazz Bowl" series

    1931

    Viktor Schreckengost, American, 1906–2008

    Dimensions

    Overall: 22.9 x 42.9 cm (9 x 16 7/8 in.)

    Medium

    Glazed porcelain with sgrafitto decoration

    Classification

    Ceramics, Porcelain

    Accession Number

    1990.507

    Collections
    Americas
    On View
    Axelrod Gallery (1920s & 1930s/Art Deco) - 326 More Info

    Description

    Cowan Pottery form X-38, with flared shape.

    Multimedia

  • Room No. V

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Room No. V

    1948

    Eldzier Cortor, American, born in 1916

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 31 x 27 in. (78.7 x 68.6 cm)

    Medium

    Oil on Masonite

    Classification

    Paintings

    Accession Number

    2007.2

    Collections
    Americas
    On View
    Blake & Purnell Gallery (20th c. Realism #2) - 327 More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Altar (asen)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Altar (asen)

    mid-19th to early 20th century

    Artist Unidentified, African

    Dimensions

    160.02 x 43.18 cm (63 x 17 in.)

    Medium

    Iron, iron oxide encrustation

    Classification

    Ritual Objects

    Accession Number

    1992.400

    Collections
    Africa and Oceania More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Lamellaphone (malimba)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Lamellaphone (malimba)

    19th century

    Dimensions

    Length 31.6 cm, width 10.5 cm, depth 4 cm (Length 12 7/16 in., width 4 1/8 in., depth 1 9/16 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, cane

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Idiophones

    Accession Number

    17.2188

    Collections
    Musical Instruments
    On View
    103D More Info

    Description

    Composite box-shaped body of wood with incised designs on all surfaces. Small triangular soundhole just below bridge and small circular soundhole (?) on back near upper end. Eight lamellae of cane tied in place between wood backrest and bridge with twined plant fiber. Printed paper label glued to back: (West Coast of Africa)

    Multimedia

  • Storage jar

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Storage jar

    1857

    Dave Drake (or Dave the Potter), American, about 1800–about 1870

    Dimensions

    Height: 48.3 cm (19 in.) Diam.: 45.1 cm (17 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Stoneware with alkaline glaze

    Classification

    Ceramics, Pottery, Stoneware

    Accession Number

    1997.10

    Collections
    Americas
    On View
    Linde Gallery (Am. Folk Art) - 237 More Info

    Description

    Large bulbous food storage jar with open neck, handles on each side, brown alkaline glaze with irregular greenish streaks.

    Multimedia

  • Pictorial quilt

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Pictorial quilt

    1895–98

    Harriet Powers, American, 1837–1910

    Dimensions

    175 x 266.7 cm (68 7/8 x 105 in.)

    Medium

    Cotton plain weave, pieced, appliqued, embroidered, and quilted

    Classification

    Textiles

    Accession Number

    64.619

    Collections
    Textiles and Fashion Arts More Info

    Description

    Appliqué quilt, dyed and printed cotton fabrics applied to cotton. The quilt is divided into fifteen pictorial rectangles. Worked with pieces of beige, pink, mauve, orange, dark red, gray-green and shades of blue cotton. This extraordinary quilt was created by Harriet Powers, an African American woman who was born a slave in Georgia in 1837. Powers is thought to have orally dictated a description of each square of her quilt to Jennie Smith, who had purchased the first quilt Powers made, and arranged for it to be exhibited at the Cotton States Exposition in Atlanta in 1895. This second quilt is thought to have been commissioned by a group of "faculty ladies" at Atlanta University, and given (together with Powers's descriptions) as a gift to a retiring trustee. What follows is Powers' descriptions of all fifteen blocks starting in the upper left and moving to the right. FIRST ROW: 1. Job praying for his enemies. Job crosses. Job's coffin. 2. The dark day of May 19, 1780. The seven stars were seen 12 N. in the day. The cattle wall went to bed, chickens to roost and the trumpet was blown. The sun went off to a small spot and then to darkness. 3. The serpent lifted up by Moses and women bringing their children to look upon it to be healed. 4. Adam and Eve in the garden. Eve tempted by the serpent. Adam's rib by which Eve was made. The sun and the moon. God's all-seeing eye and God's merciful hand. 5. John baptizing Christ and the spirit of God descending and resting upon his shoulder like a dove. SECOND ROW: 6. John cast over board of the ship and swallowed by a whale. Turtles. 7. God created two of every kind, male and female. 8. The falling of the stars on Nov. 13, 1833. The people were frightened and thought that the end had come. God's hand staid the stars. The varmints rushed out of their beds. 9. Two of every kind of animal continued...camels, elephants, "gheraffs," lions, etc. 10. The angels of wrath and the seven vials. The blood of fornications. Seven-headed beast and 10 horns which arose of the water. THIRD ROW: 11. Cold Thursday, 10 of February, 1895. A woman frozen while at prayer. A woman frozen at a gateway. A man with a sack of meal frozen. Icicles formed from the breath of a mule. All blue birds killed. A man frozen at his jug of liquor. 12. The red light night of 1846. A man tolling the bell to notify the people of the wonder. Women, children and fowls frightened by God's merciful hand caused no harm to them. 13. Rich people who were taught nothing of God. Bob Johnson and Kate Bell of Virginia. They told their parents to stop the clock at one and tomorrow it would strike one and so it did. This was the signal that they had entered everlasting punishment. The independent hog which ran 500 miles from Georgia to Virginia, her name was Betts. 14. The creation of animals continues. 15. The crucifixion of Christ between the two theives. The sun went into darkness. Mary and Martha weeping at his feet. The blood and water run from his right side.

    Multimedia

  • Bowl lyre (ndongo)

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Bowl lyre (ndongo)

    19th century

    Dimensions

    Length 66 cm, width 53.5 cm (Length 26 in., width 21 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, monitor lizard skin, goat hair, cowrie shells

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Chordophones

    Accession Number

    17.2179

    Collections
    Musical Instruments
    On View
    103D More Info

    Description

    Shallow hemispherical body of wood with sound table of snakeskin with one small circular soundhole at proper right side. Center of back covered by small square (130 x 130 mm) of animal skin, pierced around perimeter by strands of twisted plant fiber radiating to edge of body in alternating bands of black and red. Two wood arms pierce sound table and support wood yoke at upper end. Attached to ends of yoke are strands of cowrie shells and large tufts of black and gray monkey hair. Eight strings of twisted plant fiber pierce sound table and body and are tied to wood peg at lower end, and are tied to cloth tuning rings at yoke.

    Multimedia

  • Basket rattle

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Basket rattle

    19th century

    Dimensions

    Length 42 cm, width 15 cm (Length 16 9/16 in., width 5 7/8 in.)

    Medium

    Cane, nutshells

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Idiophones

    Accession Number

    17.2189

    Collections
    Musical Instruments
    On View
    103D More Info

    Description

    Hourglass-shaped body of woven cane with tuft of animal hair tied around waist with strips of cane and cloth. Nutshells inside.

    Multimedia

  • Goblet drum

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Goblet drum

    19th century

    Dimensions

    Height 43.5 cm, diameter 25.5 cm (Height 17 1/8 in., diameter 10 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, animal skin, plant fiber

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Membranophones

    Accession Number

    17.2186

    Collections
    Musical Instruments More Info

    Description

    Conical wood body terminating in cylindrical section with three small feet. Head end is ovoid. Single head of animal skin, held in place by web of thick twined plant fiber laced around two separate rings of braided palm (?) fiber. Small carrying loop of leather at one edge of head.

    Multimedia

  • Side-blown trumpet

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Side-blown trumpet

    19th century

    Dimensions

    Length 50 cm, width 8.5 cm (Length 19 11/16 in., width 3 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Ivory

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Aerophones

    Accession Number

    17.1960

    Collections
    Musical Instruments
    On View
    103D More Info

    Description

    Conical body of ivory (elephant tusk) decorated near center with geometric patterns comprised of small black incised circles with central dot. Lozenge-shaped embouchure hole surrounded by raised diamond-shape.

    Multimedia

  • Piccolo

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Piccolo

    about 1925

    Jean Martin, French, died about 1553

    Dimensions

    Length 29.9 cm (11 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Rosewood, ivory, nickel silver

    Classification

    Musical instruments, Aerophones

    Accession Number

    1984.304

    Collections
    Musical Instruments More Info

    Description

    In ?. Conoidal bore. Varnished rosewood body; ivory headjoint. Silver rings. Rosewood headcap with wood and nickel silver cork-adjustment screw. Brass liner in headjoint and barrel. Made in three parts: headjoint, barrel, and bodyjoint. Elliptical embouchure. Six finger holes. Six cupped keys of silver (d-sharp', f' x 2, g-sharp', b-flat', and c''), mounted on posts with SATK.

    Multimedia