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Two masterpieces of early African Negro art, bronze heads discovered in 1938 at Ife, in Nigeria, have been placed on public exhibition at the Peabody Museum of Anthropology until May 15.
The bronze heads, a man's and a woman's, are realistic and natural, differing markedly from the abstract and symbolic art usually associated with the African Negro artisans. In refinement of modeling and detail the Ife heads are regarded as being on a level with fine works in the European tradition. Discovery of the heads went far to revise anthropologists' ideas of the level of Negro metal arts in Africa.
Dates of the heads are uncertain; some authorities have placed them in the 13th century A.D.
The Ife bronzes, were discovered by William R. Bascom, of Northwestern University, during research in Nigeria, on the West African coast, near the famous native metal working center at Benin.
This is the first showing of the Ife work in the Boston vicinity.
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