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The Cross to Stop the Divil from Goine to Heaven

ca. 1986 "Prophet" William J. Blackmon Born: Albion, Michigan 1921 Died: Detroit, Michigan 2010 oil on wood 43 1/2 x 26 3/4 x 3/4 in. (110.5 x 67.9 x 1.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 1997.124.5 Not currently on view


Luce Center Quote

"All my painting is directed toward God and the spiritual...." The artist, quoted in Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-century American Folk Art and Artists, 1990

Luce Center Label

"Prophet" William J. Blackmon was a preacher most of his life and called himself a "hitchhiking man of God." His paintings present his spiritual ideas and have a particular focus on one's struggle to reach heaven and avoid hell. The Cross to Stop the Divil from Goine to Heaven shows the Devil and his followers being thwarted in their attempt to climb the cross and ascend into heaven. In the image, the Devil's path is blocked by the horizontal section of the cross and by two brightly colored guardian angels, which form a barrier that the figures cannot break through. Blackmon often used words in his paintings to help reinforce the narrative. In this painting the Devil can be seen to exclaim "I will exsalt my throne above the throne of God."

Keywords

Emblem - cross

Fantasy

Figure group

Religion - Christianity

Religion - Satan

painting

folk art

paint - oil

wood

About "Prophet" William J. Blackmon

Born: Albion, Michigan 1921 Died: Detroit, Michigan 2010

More works in the collection by
"Prophet" William J. Blackmon