Dora Gordine

Mongolian Head

1928

Medium
Bronze on wooden base
Dimensions
Object: 490 x 210 x 264 mm, 10 kg
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented anonymously through the Art Fund 1928
Reference
N04419

Display caption

During the 1920s and 1930s, Gordine worked on a series of sculptures that represent the physiognomic characteristics of different races. The idea that people from other cultures can be studied as depersonalised ‘types’ reflects the racist, colonial attitudes of the time. It can also be linked to the nineteenth century fascination for phrenology, a study of the shape of the human skull to discover character traits and mental disposition. Gordine probably made this head in Paris, drawing on popular ideas about Mongolia rather than direct observation and experience.

Dora Gordine was born in St. Petersburg in 1906 and died in London in 1991.



Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

N04419 MONGOLIAN HEAD 1928
 
Inscr. ‘Dora Gordine 1928’ on back of neck.
Bronze, 13×7 1/2×9 1/2 (33×19×24).
Presented by an anonymous donor through the National Art-Collections Fund 1928.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, October 1928 (15).
Repr: Connoisseur, CXLII, 1958, p.236.

Modelled and cast in Paris. Other casts are in the Collections of Hugh Reynolds of Little Manor, East London, South Africa, Sir John and Lady Maude (bequeathed to them by Sir Michael Sadler), and the artist.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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