French-born Louise Bourgeois made these wooden totem-like figures early on in her career. In this piece, she brings together several of those individual pieces on a single base.
According to MOMA Curator, Deborah Wye, the sculptures were meant to not only represent friends and family that she had left behind when she left Paris and moved to the United States, but also her family at this time, including her husband and three small boys. The figure in the middle has three appendages attached to it, and this piece, when it was shown by itself, is called Woman with Packages. Bourgeois had said that these represented her three children who she was responsible for, and she felt were always attached to her in one way or another.
Louise Bourgeois passed away in 2010, at the age of 98. She was actively creating art right up until the time of her death.