Portrait of the Black Madonna

Image Not Available Due to Copyright Restrictions
  • Benny Andrews, Portrait of the Black Madonna, 1987, oil and collage on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Andrews Humphrey Family Foundation, 2012.3.2

Exhibition Label

Portrait of Black Madonna seems to be a straightforward image of a woman. Her arms, the shawl around her shoulders, and the flowers are formed of pieces of painted cloth. The spout of the coffee pot is three-dimensional -- Andrews worked a scrap of fabric around a piece of wood. Just above it, a zipper confirms that the fabric was cut from a discarded item of clothing. The collaged elements -- which by the late 1980s were a hallmark of Andrews's work -- give dimension and tactile reality to the canvas. Portrait of Black Madonna is not only a picture of a woman and the joy and responsibility associated with motherhood; it also honors the strength and resiliency of women throughout the world.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012

Portrait of the Black Madonna
Not on view
36 x 48 in. (91.4 x 121.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Andrews Humphrey Family Foundation

Mediums Description
oil and collage on canvas
  • Figure female – waist length
  • Still life – flower
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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