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Elegant wooden Inupiaq portrait mask highlighting the natural grain of the wood | Donald Ellis Gallery

Mask

Inupiaq
Alaska

late 19th century

wood, paint

height: 8 ½"

Inventory # E4208-160

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PROVENANCE

Madeline Langworthy, Berkeley, California, collected in Alaska in the 1930s

This mask is part of an important group of Inupiaq portrait masks collected in the 1930’s by Madeline Thomas Langworthy (1893-1980). In her search for masks from Alaska, the artist and avid collector enlisted the help of agents of the US Mercantile company who were able to acquire many of these through their trade with remote Alaskan villages. Langworthy treasured the documents and correspondence associated with the collection. These documents have all been preserved in digital form adding a rich personal history to the Langworthy collection of Inupiaq portrait masks.

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