The Stranger

  • Hughie Lee-Smith, The Stranger, ca. 1957-1958, oil, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1994.15

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Like many other artists of the Cold War era, Hughie Lee-Smith explored themes of exclusion and alienation in his paintings. He believed that the African American experience in particular was one of rejection and isolation and his feelings of racial disparity frequently influenced his work. In The Stranger, a lone figure stands in the foreground engulfed by a brown and green hillside. The man is frozen mid-gesture, looking over his shoulder at a wide gulf separating him from the cluster of homes behind him.

Luce Object Quote
"I'm not a narrative painter. That is to say, I don't paint stories. What I tried to do was project a feeling, an emotional sense." The artist, quoted in Sherry Howard, "A Canvas in Black: Two pioneering painters who broke through the color line," Emerge, 1995
The Stranger
ca. 1957-1958
On View
Not on view.
26 1/4 x 36 1/8 in. (66.7 x 91.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

  • Architecture Exterior – domestic – house
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI