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African Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

Staff with a Power Figure

late 19th–early 20th century

Wood, brass, copper, glass beads, shells, seed pods, cotton, animal claws, horn, feathers, fiber, and coin

38 × 7 1/16 × 6 in. (96.5 × 18 × 15.24 cm)
Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection
Made in Central Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
On view
19th–20th century
Tools and Equipment

Possibly Merton Simpson. Possibly John Friede, New York. Possibly Michael Oliver, New York, to Aug. 18, 1981. Charles B. Benenson Collection, Greenwich, Conn; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


African Accumulative Sculpture: Power and Display, exh. cat. (New York: Pace Primitive, September 21, 1974-October 19, 1974), 53, no. 123, ill.

Warren M. Robbins and Nancy Ingram Nooter, African Art in American Collections (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), 410, fig. 1043.

Susan Vogel and Jerry L. Thompson, Closeup: Lessons in the Art of Seeing African Sculpture from an American Collection and the Horstmann Collection, exh. cat. (New York: The Center for African Art, 1990), 172-173, fig. 103.

Frank Herreman, To Cure and Protect: Sickness and Health in African Art, exh. cat. (New York: Museum for African Art, 1999), 39, no. 64, fig. 64.

Richard Barnes, “Objects of Desire,” Yale Alumni Magazine (September/October 2004): 38, ill.

“Acquisitions, July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2006): 222, ill.

Frederick John Lamp, “Hot Space, Cool Space: The Reinstallation of the African Art Collection in the Louis Kahn Building at Yale University,” African Arts 40 (Summer 2007): 38–39, fig. 5.

Frederick John Lamp, Amanda Maples, and Laura M. Smalligan, Accumulating Histories: African Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 147, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.