Celebration

  • Charles Searles, Celebration, 1975, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program, 1977.47.31

Exhibition Label
In 1974, Searles was invited to paint a mural for the William J. Green Jr. Federal Building in his hometown of Philadelphia. Celebration, a study for that mural, fuses the energy of an American street festival with memories of Searles’s 1972 trip to Nigeria. The canvas is filled with syncopated color, the echoing forms of circular drumheads, and the waving arms of dancers. Searles suggests the duality of the human psyche by dividing the figures vertically into light and dark sections. At the bottom center, he included a child with a masklike face and spiky hair in homage to his young daughter, who died in 1971.


African Amerian Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012
Title
Celebration
Artist
Date
1975
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
27 1/2 x 81 3/4 in. (70.0 x 207.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Transfer from the General Services Administration, Art-in-Architecture Program

Mediums
Mediums Description
acrylic on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ceremony – festival
  • Study – mural study
  • Landscape – time – sunrise
  • Performing arts – music – drum
  • Ethnic – African-American
  • Recreation – dancing
  • General Services Administration – Art-in-Architecture Program
Object Number
1977.47.31
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI