Peace with Honor

  • Elijah Pierce, Peace with Honor, 1973, painted wood, glitter, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of David L. Davies, 1992.37.4

Luce Center Label

This carving shows two world leaders shaking hands, as if negotiating peace, but the tools hidden behind their backs and the two devils suggest that they do not mean what they say. This image of deception was probably inspired by Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign promise to achieve “peace with honor” in Vietnam. The war would not end for several years, however, and during his presidency Nixon approved large-scale bombing of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Luce Object Quote

“They claim to be talking about peace . . . but there’s more killing and slaughtering and hatred in the human heart than there ever was in history. These nations now, they’re just sayin’ peace, but going back and making ammunition and missiles and every other device.” Elijah Pierce, quoted in June Donmoyer, “Elijah Pierce: Woodcarver,” Antique Review Preview, August 1985

Peace with Honor
Not on view
11 3/8 x 18 x 1 1/4 in. (28.9 x 45.7 x 3.2 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of David L. Davies

Mediums Description
painted wood, glitter
  • Object – weapon – dagger
  • Allegory – quality – harmony
  • Allegory – quality – deceit
  • Object – weapon – axe
  • Figure group – male
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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