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The American Scene

1988 J. Fred Woell Born: Evergreen Park, Illinois 1934 Died: Deer Isle, Maine 2015 cast silver, Civil War bullet shell fragment and copper clad steel 1 3/8 x 1 7/8 x 1/2 in. (4.1 x 4.7 x 1.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Eleanor T. and Samuel J. Rosenfeld © 1989, J. Fred Woell 1991.114 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

"My work is about striving and survival. The pieces and parts I fuse into the assemblages add up to stories about what we live by and what we disregard in our wake towards achieving pleasure and fulfilling goals." J. Fred Woell

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In The American Scene, Fred Woell plays on ideas of the sacred and the secular, contrasting a portrait of Colonel Sanders with a coin portrait of Abraham Lincoln and a fragment of a Civil War bullet. The phrase "Our Lady of the Highway Pray for Us" evokes the restlessness of the American people. Although the different parts of this work initially appear to be unconnected, Woell chose his icons carefully. After all, Lincoln is revered as a leader and healer of our nation and Kentucky was his birth state, long before "Colonel Sanders."


Figure group

Occupation - military - soldier

Portrait male - Sanders, Colonel

decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal

metal - copper

metal - silver

metal - steel