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Eldzier Cortor

Southern Gate
46 1/4 x 22 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection

This African American woman stands unabashedly wrapped in her sensuality. The work's title places the scene in the South, a source of fascination for Cortor during travels throughout the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina in 1940. There he encountered the black Sea Islanders, who had retained a strong sense of their African origins.