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Maker(s):Walker, Kara Elizabeth
Culture:American (1969- )
Title:Scene of McPherson's Death, from the series Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)
Date Made:2005 plate; 2005 print
Materials:Offset lithograph and silkscreen on Somerset textured paper
Place Made:North America; United States; New York; New York City
Measurements:Frame: 58 in x 44 in x 2 1/4 in; 147.3 cm x 111.8 cm x 5.7 cm; Sheet: 52 15/16 in x 39 1/16 in; 134.5 cm x 99.2 cm; Image: 35 3/16 in x 31 13/16 in; 89.4 cm x 80.8 cm
Narrative Inscription:  SIGNATURE: recto lwr. r. (pencil): KW ; DATE: recto lwr. r. (pencil): 2005 ; EDITION NUMBER: recto lwr. r. (pencil): 1/35 ; ACCESSION NUMBER: verso lwr. r. (pencil): 2012.14.14 ; INSCRIPTION: verso lwr. r. (stamp in amber ink): [illegible] (inscribed in circle)
Accession Number:  MH 2012.14.14
Credit Line:Purchase with the Susan and Bernard Schilling (Susan Eisenhart, Class of 1932) Fund and the Belle and Hy Baier Art Acquisition Fund
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Silhouette of a nude woman or girl, standing facing with head turned to the left and wearing curled, pointed shoes. Her right leg is dismembered and is carried on the back of a tiny, Atlas-like figure in the lower left corner. The silhouettes are printed over an image of a woodland area littered with debris, including a wagon wheel and a sign attached to a tree in the center.

Label Text:
Contemporary artist Kara Walker’s work reminds us of the inherent subjectivity of historical perspective. This work is one of 15 prints belonging to Walker’s powerful series in which she enlarges selected images from two volumes of Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (1866–68) and then “annotates” them by superimposing her signature silhouettes, thereby disrupting the original narrative. Walker inserts issues of racial stereotypes, slavery, gender, and the violence of oppression otherwise absent in these mid-19th century representations.

-Ellen Alvord, Weatherbie Curator of Education and Academic Programs, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2016)

diaspora; slavery; African American

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