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Keep

1962 Anne Truitt Born: Baltimore, Maryland 1921 Died: Washington, District of Columbia 2004 acrylic on wood 72 x 39 1/4 x 10 1/8 in. (182.9 x 99.7 x 25.7 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Philip M. Stern 1972.172 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

Anne Truitt’s sculptures refer at times to places she lived or people she knew and sometimes reflect fleeting experiences. All are scaled to relate to human experience. “Our sense of scale,” she said, “comes from the size and reach of our bodies.” Keep is both intimate and intimidating. It gives the impression of a crenellated battlement (a keep is the innermost structure of a medieval castle). Its title is also a linguistically loaded word that means possession, restraint, protection, and preservation. For Truitt meaning comes from deeply felt, personal associations. “It’s the human experience that is distilled into art that makes it great,” she said.

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008

Keywords

Abstract

sculpture

paint - acrylic

wood