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African woman (Anzengruber. Austria, 1950s)

In Art Pottery > European Art Pottery > Show & Tell.
__INNER CHILD2 of 14Wooden Art Deco toy cars, Czechoslovakia, 1930s.Art Deco horse figurine, Hagenauer, probably from the 1930s
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Posted 6 months ago

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austrohung…
(483 items)

This is our Anzengruber African woman playing drums. She lives “at the other house” on top of a red 50s kidney shaped table.

Unfortunately she's unsigned., and she lacks the bronze earrings other Anzengruber women have. In any case she's a beauty!

I've always wondered how this stuff became so fashionable in the 50s. I remember one of our neighbours had several African flat heads on her walls when I was a kid. Of course I liked them, perhaps because they were so exotic, and maybe that's what made this stuff popular in a post-war Europe: images that made them feel happy, images that were completely new, far from their own cultural references. If I remember well, it was in the 1950s when Leni Rieffenstal went to Africa and took all those amazing pictures of the Nubas.

Comments

  1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 months ago
    beautiful !!! stunning !!!
  2. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 months ago
    Thanks vanskyock, manikin, vet, sean and aghcollect for loving it!!!

    I am wondering how the Americans among you feel about this kind of figurines...
  3. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 months ago
    I would love to own just some of these stunners!! and your very welcome austro!!
  4. racer4four racer4four, 6 months ago
    Interesting isn't it Austro how we view things now that seemed OK when made. Here in Oz there is a very collectible range of black figurines and lamps made by a company called Barsony (check the out if you don't know them ...I think you would like them, and..George Barsony was a Hungarian immigrant), 50s and 60s, still great now but would probably not be acceptable if a current product. It's like all the indigenous motifs on pottery thru the 50s and 60s (Brownie Downing etc) probably considered disrespectful now, but indicative of a more "colonial" psyche maybe.
    Having said all that I do really love this!
  5. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 months ago
    I love Barsony! :)

    In Spain we've still got some chocolate-covered peanuts called Conguitos (http://www.conguitos.com/) that, against all odds, still use the image of African characters... they've been here forever, but I know visitors -specially from the US- get really shocked when find out about them ;)
  6. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 months ago
    By the way, in the 50s there was a huge fashion for Africa (that actually started with the 20th Century and had a peak moment with Art Deco): zebra skins, masks, etc... and it even had an big influence in the arts. probably these figurines were just the kitschest aspect of that fashion :)

    In any case i must say I see nothing racist or colonialist about it... no more than a flamenco dancer figurine anyway :D

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