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Tell Us About Hommage à Bessie Smith

Bryna Freyer

Discussion about the jazzy workings in the Senegalese artists painting of Bessie Smith in the African Art Museum Collections.

Collection Object: 
Hommage à Bessie Smith
Topic
musical instrument
male
Data Source
National Museum of African Art
Rights
© 1987 Iba N'Diaye
Maker
Iba N'Diaye, 1928-2008, Senegal
Credit Line
Gift of Mme. Diouf and museum purchase
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
H x W x D: 132.2 × 197.2 × 4 cm (52 1/16 × 77 5/8 × 1 9/16 in.)
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Exhibition
African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection
On View
NMAfA, First Level North Galleries (1130-1134)
Geography
Senegal
Date
1987
Label Text
Hommage à Bessie Smith is part of an important series of paintings that Senegalese artist Iba N'Diaye devoted to the great performers of jazz and gospel music. With their warm colors, expressive brushstrokes and schematic figuration, N'Diaye's works capture the charged atmosphere of the jazz clubs of Harlem and Montmartre and highlight the potency of shared artistic expressions throughout the Black Atlantic world from the early to mid-20th century.
Description
Painting with three jazz players outlined in the foreground: on the left, a trumpet player, at center, a figure singing into a microphone, and to the right, another trumpet player. The trumpet players wear black and white suits and the vocalist at center wears red. The trumpets are light orange. The background is predominantly gray and blue. Above the vocalist at center are two figures, one in profile, the other in three-quarter face outlined in black and orange. In the background at upper right is a classically posed figure: a face in light yellow, outlined in orange, gazes at the musicians below. At far right is a condensed abstraction of an orchestra and trumpet bell.
Provenance
Mme. Abdou Diouf, Paris, -- to 2002
Exhibition History
African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2013-ongoing (reinstalled April 8, 2016)
Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue - From the Collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Camille O. and William H. Cosby, Jr., National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, November 7, 2014-January 24, 2016
African Mosaic: Selections from the Permanent Collection, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2013-ongoing (deinstalled October 15, 2014)
African Mosaic: Celebrating a Decade of Collecting, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., November 19, 2010-November 19, 2013
Insights, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., February 27 to November 28, 2004
Recent Acquisitions and Promised Gifts, National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., October 18, 2002-January 5, 2003
Published References
Kreamer, Christine Mullen and Adrienne L. Childs (eds). 2014. Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue from the Collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and Camille O. and William H. Cosby, Jr. Washington, D.C.: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, pp. 240-241, pl. 135.
Type
Painting
Object number
2002-13-1