Sowing

  • William H. Johnson, Sowing, ca. 1940, oil on burlap, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.1002

Exhibition Label

Sowing presents a simple narrative of farm life suggestive of Johnson's upbringing in South Carolina, but the brilliant palette disguises elements of tension. The plow the man grips is stained with red streaks of iron-suffused earth. The woman's hand is tightly clenched as she holds the seed above the soil before releasing it. A ghost moon in the sky hints at things both visible and unseen.

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

Title
Sowing
Artist
Date
ca. 1940
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
38 1/2 x 45 3/4 in. (97.8 x 116.2 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Harmon Foundation

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on burlap
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group – male and female
  • Occupation – farm – sowing
  • Ethnic – African-American
  • Animal – donkey
Object Number
1967.59.1002
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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