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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Lock
Date: 1973
Medium: Bronze with wood
Dimensions: 13 x 14 x 9 inches (33 x 35.6 x 22.9 cm) Including mount: 17 × 12 × 10 3/8 inches (43.2 × 30.5 × 26.4 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of the Friends of African Art
Object Number: 99.036
Label Text: Amir Nour has lived in the United States since 1969, but his early life in northern Sudan shaped his artistic concerns. His work is based on stylized geometric forms - adaptations of gourds, of the domes of mosques, of hills - all drawn from childhood memories of his homeland. This work is a dynamic and engaging abstract form and an evocation of one of those Sudanese objects: a lock, and particularly the lock of a granary door, which has an important function in many black African cultures. (The Museum has several elaborately carved granary locks from the Dogon culture in its collection.) Nour's interpretation of such a lock elegantly integrates the traditional African object into the forms of a modern industrialized world, reflecting the artist's integration of two very different societies.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.