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Maker(s):Becker, Frederick G.
Culture:American (1913-2004)
Title:John Henry and the Witch Woman from the John Henry Suite
Date Made:1935-1939
Materials:Wood engraving on cream wove paper
Measurements:Mat: 14 in x 11 in; 35.6 cm x 27.9 cm; Sheet: 11 in x 8 11/16 in; 27.9 cm x 22.1 cm; image: 6 in x 4 1/2 in; 15.2 cm x 11.4 cm
Narrative Inscription:  SIGNATURE: recto, lwr. r. (graphite): Fred Becker ; SIGNATURE: recto, lwr. r. (engraved in wood block): Becker ; TITLE: recto, lwr. ctr. (graphite): “JOHN HENRY OF THE WITCH WOMAN” ; INSCRIPTION: verso, lwr r. (stamp in black ink): FEDERAL ART PROJECT/NYC WPA
Accession Number:  UM 1974.38.138
Credit Line:Gift of Frederick G. Becker to the W.P.A. Collection
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

Highly stylized black and white depiction an elderly naked and winged witch woman and John Henry. The witch sits on a rock to right and reaches her right hand to touch John Henry's heart-shaped "heart." The heart is maked with an "X". Her left hand holds a spoon over a pot on an campfire. John Henry stands with his chest and heart exposed with his arms to his sides. A nude woman and two heads, framed by another heart shape, is behind the two figures implying a dream scene.

Label Text:
From the John Henry Suite.. WPA Collection.

African American; witchcraft; supernatural; nudes; folklore

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2 Related Media Items

UM-Fred_Becker- SW_Hayter-letter.pdf
UM-Fred_Becker- SW_Hayter-letter.pdf

1 Related People

Becker, Frederick G.
American (1913-2004)
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