This black and white photograph is a cropped close-up view of a light colored hat with a black band. The texture of the tightly woven straw and the ribbon band are depicted in sharp detail against a blank dark background.
This photograph was published in an exhibition catalogue for, "Tropism: Photographs". It was part of a series of his works from the 1970s exhibited under the title, "Chiaroscuro". In the introduction to this book he states, "I embrace the abstract in photography and exist on a few bits of order extracted from the chaos of reality."
A massive, baroque, and busy wood-carved headdress with stylized face (showing classic Yoruba features) of bulging eyes with defined upper lids, long, straight, triangular nose, symmetrical scarification patterns consisting of three horizontal lines on each cheek, a short beard from ear to ear just underneath the lower lip. Two large “ears” protrude on either side of head and act as “scaffolding” for numerous attachments of symbolic content: birds and lions predominate, but also visible are amulets, wooden claws and beads, crosses, and an insignia shield of some kind. The ears terminate in two oblong mirrors with lions leaping off of each. Layers of pigment are visible, giving impression it has been repainted over time.
Egúngún--meaning “power concealed”--is a masquerade performed to honor the sprits of important Yoruba ancestors. This marvelous headdress is worn with a voluminous costume made from layers of brightly colored cloth strips that billow and flare with the whirling rotations of the dancer, the spirit manifest. Distinguished by its large ears, it is called erin, or elephant, named for both the grandeur of its costume and the wealth of its owner.
The obi is made of plain silk, on which beige and brown stripes are pattern-dyed. Scrolls of exotic flowers and leaves are hand painted with orange and black color, and embroidered with metallic threads. These plant designs are located on two parts of the obi; when wearing, one will appear in front, and other will appear on the back bow. There is a hand-painted artist’s seal of Chinese character “moon” on one end of the obi.
Scroll of flower and foliage design is traditionally called “hana karakusa” (Chinese plants with flowers) and has numerous variations. Usually, the flowers in this type are not actual plants, so that they appear exotic as in the design of this obi. The wax-resist dying technique used is called roketsuzome.
A woman standing facing slightly to the left looks over her shoulder to the right. She has a Victorian dress with high collar, long sleeves and skirt; she is wearing a hat with a curved brim and comes to a point at the top; in her hands she is holding a pair of long gloves. Her figure casts a shadow on the right side of the image although there is no indication of surroundings or background,
Whistler's 1888 marriage to Beatrix Philip Godwin provided Whistler with the congenial company of his wife's siblings and mother. Here, Ethel Philip, who also acted as Whistler's secretary, is seen standing in fashionable dress in a pose closely related to the painting "Harmony in Brown: The Felt Hat" (Hunterian Art Gallery, Univ. of Glasgow).
"Gants de Suede" was published in "The Studio" in april 1894, although it is believed that this impression was from a group printed posthumously under the direction of his executrix, Rosalind Birnie Philip.
Overall blue and white palette. Group of people seated on chairs with tables. Most of the people are nude women. The main focus is a nude woman in the center wearing a top hat and holding a cane. In the foreground is a woman wearing clothes and sunglasses, her arms are crosed in front of her body.