A Real or Hypothetical Beard

04 March 2020 27 September 2020

Over the temporary exhibition The Barbus Müller, Their Enigmatic Sculptor Finally Unmasked!, African and Oceanic artworks sporting a beard, real or hypothetical, are displayed in the Barbier-Mueller Museum basement. Some of these pieces, which were given a beard by our Western eyes, may reveal surprises. For example, the Kpwan mask of the Goli group of Côte d’Ivoire is female despite its braided beard. Used by the Baule during village feasts or an important person’s funeral, female masks have their male counterparts and show up in a very hierarchical order over ceremonies.

We are looking forward to welcoming you again at the museum to enable you to discover the whole exhibition.

Kpwan mask from the Goli group. Baule, Côte d’Ivoire. 1st half of the 20th century. Hardwood, remains of polychromy. H. 45.3 cm. Former Hubert Goldet collection. Inv. 1007-228. Photo Studio Ferrazzini Bouchet. Musée Barbier-Mueller.

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