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Altar Piece

ca. 1970s-1980s "Prophet" Royal Robertson Born: Baldwin, Louisiana 1930 Died: Houston, Texas 1997 wood, paint, glitter, paper, and metal 49 x 22 x 12 in. (124.5 x 55.9 x 30.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 1997.124.80 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 27A

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Altar Piece
from American Art staff

Luce Center Label

After his wife left him, Royal Robertson created countless drawings of women as prostitutes and temptresses. His fantasy world also included spaceships, futuristic cities, and superheroes. In this piece he painted an intimidating, Amazon-like figure with revealing clothes and exaggerated proportions. By placing this alluring image on an altarpiece, Robertson expressed his belief that men are too easily bewitched by women.


Figure female - full length

Monument - religious - altar


folk art




readymade - glitter