Art at the DIANew Acquisitions
The painting is on view in the African American Art gallery N290 within the Contemporary Art Suite of galleries.
In 2012, the DIA acquired this exceptionally fine, important, and unique polychromed bronze bust entitled Mauresque Noire by the talented French sculptor Charles Cordier (1827–1905). Cordier entered this particular work for the 1862 London International Exhibition and his 1865 Paris Sale, in both of which it was highly acclaimed. Cordier’s documented and recently rediscovered Mauresque Noire is one of the best examples of polychrome sculptures this artist who was the first to explore, portray and celebrate ethnic diversity in a wide range of subjects. The attractive and elegant appearance of the richly costumed Algerian woman, who lived next door to Cordier in Algiers, evokes not merely outer beauty, but also a strong, eternal beauty.
This intricately decorated box reflects the importance of inlay in Korean lacquer work. The ornamentation on the small container, which would have been used in women’s quarters for the storage of combs and cosmetics, presents a variety of themes. On the top, peach trees and cranes among clouds surround a double circle. The inner circle contains the stylized Chinese character shou (su in Korean) symbolizing long life. On the front, four drawers are set in three tiers. The ones in the middle row feature geometric hexagon patterns. The four panels on the upper- and lowermost drawers are decorated with pairs of squirrels, deer, turtles, and mandarin ducks in landscape settings enriched with details of bamboo, pine trees, mushrooms, lotus, water, clouds, and the sun, combining on one object most of the ten symbols of longevity. The left and right side panels, which on similar examples are undecorated, feature a gnarled plum tree and elegant bamboo, symbols respectively for purity and renewal, integrity and long life.
Search Art at the DIA
See favorite works from DIA staff members.
Support the DIA
Your membership and donations are critical to the museum’s success.
Stay in the know
Receive ongoing updates about events, announcements, and more from the DIA.