After more than eighty years on display at The Field Museum, this sculpture of Gozo Kawamura was in need of conservation. Inquisitive visitors had touched the piece and rubbed off its original patina—as seen on Kawamura’s nose in this photograph. In other cases, cleaning products had caused damage, discoloration, and build-up over time. Indoor climate conditions can also affect bronze sculptures, and may have caused this piece to deteriorate.
American artist Malvina Hoffman (1885-1966) created 104 bronze figures, busts, and heads for the 1933 exhibition, The Races of Mankind. Each sculpture was meant to portray an activity or facial characteristics representative of a racial type. Fifty of the artworks are featured in The Field Museum's 2016 exhibition, Looking at Ourselves: Rethinking the Sculptures of Malvina Hoffman.