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The Struggle

1973-1974 Purvis Young Born: Miami, Florida 1943 Died: Miami, Florida 2010 acrylic on wood 88 × 77 in. (223.5 × 195.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Grumbacher-Viener Collection in memory of Nancy Grumbacher 2014.15 Smithsonian American Art Museum
1st Floor, West Wing

Gallery Label

Purvis Young was a native of Miami, Florida, who created a unique art environment in the neighborhood of Overtown. In 1971, Young decided to make a statement in his downtrodden neighborhood after being inspired by murals made by African-American activists in Chicago and Detroit. He decided to paint in a vacant alley of boarded up store fronts—a blank slate—with images that charted the challenges of this once-vibrant neighborhood. The Struggle is widely regarded as Young’s most powerful and significant work from this period.


Architecture Exterior - domestic - apartment

Architecture - vehicle - truck


Figure male


folk art