The beginning of Baumeister's great interest in nonwestern art cannot be precisely dated. Even so, it is conceivable that he came into contact with African art beginning in 1924, when he met the French artist-colleagues Le Corbusier, Amedée Ozenfant, and Fernand Léger in Paris. Especially in the French art magazines Cahier d'Art and Documents illustrations of African art appeared. Margarete Baumeister, the artist's wife, discovered a Senufo Mask from the Côte d'Ivoire in the basement of the Galerie d'Art Contemporain. Baumeister had his first solo exhibition in Paris in this gallery in 1927.
From this time on, he acquired African sculptures, masks, functional objects, wooden and woven bowls from various African cultures. The growth form or tree trunk could still be seen in the sculptures, aspects that interested Baumeister.
The coloring of the caryatid figure with a vessel on her head comes close to Baumeister's paintings, which he called in the African style.
On June 16, 1943 Baumeister wrote to Dieter Keller: I am now painting black on an almost pure white ground... with rough, frayed strokes... . Already the painting Drumbeat of 1942 showed this manner of painting.
His interest also extended to the painting of an antelope-skin covered wooden box from Cameroon with traditional, geometric stylized motifs, in which redwood paste used for the body painting was kept. Baumeister acquired it in 1941 from the Linden Museum in Stuttgart.