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Haitian Mermaid # 2

1996 Michael Cummings Born: Los Angeles, California 1945 machine pieced, quilted, and appliquéd commercial and hand-dyed cotton, synthetic and antique fabrics, found objects, sequins, and beads 76 × 78 1/4 × 1 1/8 in. (193.0 × 198.8 × 2.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Dorothy Dent Goodson 2002.59 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

This quilt is one in a series of four inspired by a mermaid from Haitian mythology. The mermaid protects the people of the island when they go into the water, and takes on the form of a woman on land. Michael Cummings has used the images of the parrot and fish to represent the mythological creature’s power over both land and sea. Haitian Mermaid #2 employs a wide variety of materials, including hand-dyed and antique fabrics, and Cummings has combined bright colors with dark tones of blue and black to suggest a tranquil night scene.

Keywords

Abstract

Animal - bird

Animal - fish

Ethnic - Haitian

Fantasy - mermaid

Object - flower

Waterscape - sea

decorative arts - fiber

Crafts - Fiber

fabric

fabric - cotton

readymade - beads

quilted

About Michael Cummings

Born: Los Angeles, California 1945