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"Imelda and Ferdinand"
Philippine Folk Art c. 1980
35.5 cm
Gilded mahogany and polystyrene


An excellent example of the slyly subtle qualities of traditional Philippine folk art, "Imelda and Ferdinand" uses the traditional Madonna and child motif to hint at the power behind the Philippine throne in the Marcos era. The identity of the artist has never been discovered, in spite of extensive investigations by the Marcos Secret Police. Possession of a copy or photograph of this sculpture carried the death penalty in the Philippines prior to 1986, although Imelda Marcos later made it a focal point of her campaign for the Philippine presidency and later donated a solid gold reproduction to the San Augustin Cathedral in Manila.


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