Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

The Colonel's Cabinet

1991-1994 Renée Stout Born: Junction City, Kansas 1958 mixed media: carpet, chair, painting, and cabinet with found and handmade objects overall: 67 1/2 x 60 x 50 1/2 in. (171.5 x 152.4 x 128.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson © 1994, Renee Stout 1994.45.1A-MMM Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

The Colonel’s Cabinet is a narrative of exploration and memory that traces the life of one Colonel Frank. Like the gentleman travelers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who created “cabinets of curiosities” filled with artifacts of distant people and places, the fictitious Colonel Frank collected small treasures to remind himself of where he had been and individuals he had met. An invented persona based on Stout’s father, who, she said, brought the world to her shy and introspective mother, the colonel also reflects Stout’s own search for a personal history.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Right Era, and Beyond, 2012


Object - art object - photograph

Object - art object - sculpture

Object - furniture - cabinet

Object - furniture - chair

Object - musical instrument - guitar

Object - other - container

Object - weapon - dagger

Object - written matter - book

Object - written matter - map

sculpture - assemblage

mixed media

readymade - furniture

readymade - musical instrument

readymade - toy