Ghost Plate with Mickey Mouse Ears

Media - 2001.8 - SAAM-2001.8_1 - 45387
Copied Jim Melchert, Ghost Plate with Mickey Mouse Ears, 1964, glazed earthenware, 414 in. (10.235.6 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance, 2001.8

Artwork Details

Title
Ghost Plate with Mickey Mouse Ears
Artist
Date
1964
Dimensions
414 in. (10.235.6 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the James Renwick Alliance
Mediums Description
glazed earthenware
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture — vehicle
  • Figure — head
  • Figure male — full length
  • Cartoon — comics — Mickey Mouse
  • State of being — phenomenon — occult
Object Number
2001.8

Artwork Description

Ghost Plate with Mickey Mouse Ears is Jim Melchert’s favorite piece from a series of works created in 1964. He was inspired by a line from Ingmar Bergman’s film The Silence that reads, “One must tread carefully among the ghosts in your past.” Melchert decorated the plates and jars of this series with masks and used them to work through issues from his past. The ghost in this piece wears a Mickey Mouse hat. This is a playful image, but is also meant to evoke the humiliation of a child wearing a dunce cap.