Going to Church

Media - 1967.59.1003 - SAAM-1967.59.1003_1 - 81387
Copied William H. Johnson, Going to Church, ca. 1940-1941, oil on burlap, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.1003

Artwork Details

Title
Going to Church
Date
ca. 1940-1941
Dimensions
38 1845 38 in. (96.8115.4 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the Harmon Foundation
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on burlap
Classifications
Keywords
  • African-American
  • Animal — cattle
  • Travel — land — cart
  • Figure group
  • African American
  • Architecture — religious — church
Object Number
1967.59.1003

Artwork Description

William H. Johnson painted rural scenes inspired in part by his memories of growing up in South Carolina. A family of four ride on an oxcart toward a distant hill, where three crosses mark their physical destination as well as their spiritual home on Calvary. The flat composition, comprised of clashing hues arranged in stripes and color blocks, recalls the story quilts made of scraps pieced together by African American women.