Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl's Window

Betye Saar. The Man from Phrenology. 1965 236

Etching, plate: 14 13/16 × 9 13/16" (37.7 × 25 cm); sheet (irreg.): 17 11/16 × 12 5/8" (44.9 × 32.1 cm). The Candace King Weir Endowment for Women Artists

Betye Saar: This case contains some items, which show how I make prints. The largest one is a plaster model of the phrenology chart with a portion exposed to show how the brain is placed in the head. A friend gave it to me as a gift many, many years ago, and I've always kept it and I’ve always cherished it.

Then I found out about phrenology - how certain parts of your skull would reveal aspects of your personality. So this is like, what you think about, what you dream about, ideas, whatever.

There is a metal plate zinc plate that shows the diagram that I made inspired by that head. And the print beside it, the phrenology print. And many little objects that I've used of copper. And the moon and the sun and the stars - those little items were inked and placed on my paper, to make an etching.

And then there's the etching of the imp - the image of death, and then another small collage image of death or a skeleton placed underneath it.

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