© Seydou Keïta
Title: Untitled, #58
Date: 1950–52, printed c.2004
Artist: Seydou Keïta
Malian, 1923–2001
Medium: gelatin silver print
Edition: 1/10
image: 22 1/16 x 15 5/8 in. (56 x 39.7 cm)
sheet: 24 x 19 15/16 in. (60.9 x 50.6 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Thomas Alexander and Laura Rogers
Object Number: 30:2008
Place photographed: Bamako, Mali
Current Location: Not On View
The elaborate display of traditional African clothing and jewelry in this portrait reveals both the subject's pride and the photographer's interest in visual patterning. Seydou Keïta was a portrait photographer in the West African country of Mali. His studio in the capital city of Bamako was home to a burgeoning middle-class interested in conveying its affluence and ambition.

Keïta helped his sitters define their personal and social identity through the use of costumes, props, and poses, as well as through the disarming candor that he elicited. Relatively unknown outside his own country while he was active, Keïta's work was rediscovered by the international arts community in the early 1990s. Since relatively few vintage prints survive from the 1950s, contemporary printings such as this were made from the original negatives. This is the first example of work by an African photographer to enter the Saint Louis Art Museum's collection.
Signed: unsigned
Exhibition History
Title: Adorning Self and Space: West African Textiles
Date: March 20, 2015 - September 07, 2015
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Recent Acquisitions in Prints and Photographs
Date: April 10, 2009 - July 6, 2009
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
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