5 Works In The Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the uplifting spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Marketing Intern Aysia Woods selects five works from the permanent collection that reflect the Reverend’s uniting and powerful legacy.

Lawrence_panel 43

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel no. 43: In a few sections of the South leaders of both Black and White communities met to discuss ways of making the South a good place to live., between 1940 and 1941. Casein tempera on hardboard, 18 x 12 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1942

1) First, we have Panel 43 (1940-41) from The Migration Series of renowned artist Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000). Depicted in the painting are Southern leaders, black and white, meeting to discuss ways to improve Southern living conditions. This great work encourages collaboration regardless of background, just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so often encouraged.

Noland_April

Kenneth Noland, April, 1960. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 16 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1960.

2) April (1960) by Kenneth Noland (1924-2010) is a reflection of the contagious positive energy Dr. King emitted to other civil rights leaders and the entire nation. The bright yellow center was inspired by the sun, while the expanding circles imply continuous growth and life.

Bruce_Power

Edward Bruce, Power, ca. 1933. Oil on canvas, Framed: 31 1/4 in x 52 1/4 in x 2 1/4 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Gift of Mrs. Edward Bruce, 1957

3) Next up is Power (1933) by Edward Bruce (1879-1943). New York City is illuminated by American pride and national unity even through the ominous clouds overhead. This sentiment of tenacity certainly resonated with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s unwavering courage to unite the American people regardless of obstacles.

Eakins_Miss Amelia Van Buren

Thomas Eakins, Miss Amelia Van Buren, ca. 1891, Oil on canvas 45 x 32 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1927

4) I think Dr. King certainly would have enjoyed Thomas Eakins’s (1844-1916) Miss Amelia Van Buren (1891). This seemingly solemn painting portrays Van Buren, a women persevering in turning her dreams of being an artist into reality. After all, civil rights were not only about rights of blacks in America, but rights of all people.

Pippin_Domino Player

Horace Pippin, Domino Players, 1943. Oil on composition board, 12 3/4 x 22 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1943

5) Finally, Domino Players (1943) by self-taught African American painter Horace Pippin (1888-1946) depicts exactly what the remarkable Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his entire life to protect – family.

Aysia Woods, Marketing Intern

 

American Acrostics: Milton Avery and John Sloan

John Sloan, Clown Making Up, 1910

John Sloan, Clown Making Up, 1910, Oil on canvas 32 1/8 x 26 in.; 81.5975 x 66.04 cm. Acquired 1919. The Phillips Collection, Washington DC.

To celebrate the last month of Made in the USA, we’ve asked Phillips staff to create acrostic poems for works in the exhibition. We’ll feature some of our favorite submissions over the next few weeks. In this post, Specialist for School, Outreach, and Family Programs Andrea Kim Taylor tries to get inside the head of a young woman writing at a desk and William Spates, Museum Assistant, gets thoughtful about one of his favorite paintings.

 

Milton Avery, Girl Writing
Under the influence of inspiration
She stops to empty her mind
And struggles for expression

Andrea Kim Taylor, Specialist for School, Outreach and Family Programs

avery_girlwriting_300wide

Milton Avery, Shells and Fishermen, 1941. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1943

 

 

 

 

John Sloan, Clown Making Up

Unfulfilled
Survivor
A lifetime of stories to share

William Spates, Museum Assistant

American Acrostics: Thomas Eakins

Thomas Eakins, Miss Amelia Van Buren, ca. 1891

Thomas Eakins, Miss Amelia Van Buren, ca. 1891, Oil on canvas 45 x 32 in.; 114.3 x 81.28 cm. Acquired 1927.

To celebrate the last month of Made in the USA, we’ve asked Phillips staff to create acrostic poems for works in the exhibition. We’ll feature some of our favorite submissions over the next few weeks. In this post, It Support Specialist Sandy Lee treats us to a special double feature.

Thomas Eakins, Miss Amelia Van Buren

Untold
Sarcasm
Awaits

 

Unbeknownst to Eakins,
Sitting was not
Amelia’s favorite activity.

Sandy Lee, IT Support Specialist