© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
M25199
People
John Wilson, American (Roxbury, Massachusetts 1922 -)
Title
Martin Luther King
Classification
Prints
Work Type
print
Date
2002
Culture
American
Location
Level 3, Room 3610, University Teaching Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Softground etching, etching, and burnishing on chine collé on white wove paper
Technique
Etching
Dimensions
sheet: 90.2 x 75.7 cm (35 1/2 x 29 13/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Wilson
  • inscription: yes, lower margin, graphite, hand written, signed, in artist's hand: edition numbering, signature, date: 6/50 Wilson 02
  • blind stamp: lower left corner, paper, compression: printer's blindstamp (James Stroud/Center Street Studio): [scallop shell]
Provenance
[Center Street Studio, Cambridge, Massachusetts], sold; to Harvard University Art Museums, May 28, 2002.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund
Accession Year
2002
Object Number
M25199
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Commentary
In this print Wilson asserts his identity, or at least his personal identification with the most important and influential black man of the 20th century, Martin Luther King. The presentation of the subject is direct but not confrontational. King is simply there, a man and, by the narrowness and slight slumping of his shoulders, not even a heroic man. One is reminded of police mug shots and of busts of the Man of Sorrows, and neither association is inappropriate, though the subject in no way appears victimized. Rather, he endures. Through the medium of worked and reworked softground etching, his attribute of blackness becomes a tangible reality.
Exhibition History

Critical Printing, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/31/2019 - 01/05/2020

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