Folded Wings – Memory – & the Moon Weeping

Media - 1969.78 - SAAM-1969.78_1 - 52045
Copied Morris Graves, Folded Wings--Memory--& the Moon Weeping, ca. 1942-1943, ink wash and gouache on paper, sheet: 29 3823 34 in. (74.660.3 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Michael and Caryl Marsh, 1969.78

Artwork Details

Folded Wings – Memory – & the Moon Weeping
ca. 1942-1943
Not on view
sheet: 29 3823 34 in. (74.660.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Michael and Caryl Marsh
Mediums Description
ink wash and gouache on paper
  • Animal — other — skeleton
  • State of being — emotion — sorrow
  • Animal — bird
  • Allegory — other — memory
  • Landscape — celestial — moon
Object Number

Artwork Description

As a master of contemplative, spiritual expression, Graves used natural forms to symbolize his state of mind and inner vision. The bird with folded wings seems to emerge from his transcendent imagination, the artist’s “inner eye,” rather than from direct observation. The transparent, abstract image suggests an engraving in the face of a rock, worn away by time and weather, at once fading and accumulating new meaning.

Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2009