In sub-Saharan Africa, in the 19th and 20th centuries, artistic labor was gendered. Wood and metal were mediums for men and turned to the subjects of heroism and the cosmos. Women worked in clay, cloth, and beads, and as usual were stuck with addressing everyday life—the quotidian. But oh the subtext—the semiotics of age, ethnic identity, marital status, and more—that are expressed in these 24 works from the museum’s holdings. —L.J.
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