Charles Addams

...Of The New Yorker

By: Charles Addams

Originally Published in 1952

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Charles Addams holding a Tlingit helmet in the shape of a whale with a tall dorsal fin
Museum Object Number: 29-48-435

Charles Addams chose this figure of a whale from a Tlingit helmet, Southeast Alaska, and remarked:
These objects were selected by me because they’re funny and were probably intended to be when they were executed.

I like this killer whale helmet because I like the crazy interesting construction, although I can never think it was worn by a really responsible Alaskan Indian. Most likely it was a fad like an atomic whirler hat.

On the whole, these objects seem to me to be a tribute to the humor of people we are only too likely to think of as uncivilized.

A mask in the form of a bird.
Museum Object Number: P4091
Image Number: 46732

And of a Sepik River, New Guinea, bird:

I chose this because some islanders, out of extreme boredom, went to the trouble to construct it.

Besides, desiccated birds happen to appeal to me.

Three small wooden figures of nude people, two men and a woman.
Museum Object Numbers: 29-12-14
Image Number: 46734

The wooden figure of a man holding a javelin is from Habe, French Sudan and the other two are Baoule, Ivory Coast.

I chose these little Africans because I feel they’d be delightful people to live with.

Cite This Article

Addams, Charles. "Charles Addams." Museum Bulletin XVI, no. 3 (February, 1952): 25-29. Accessed May 27, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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