Untitled (Mary with Baby Jesus)

Copied David Butler, Untitled (Mary with Baby Jesus), ca. 1970-1980, paint on articulated cut sheet metal, 38 14 × 18 14 × 7 34 in. (97.2 × 34 × 19.7 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson, 2016.38.11

Artwork Details

Untitled (Mary with Baby Jesus)
ca. 1970-1980
Not on view
38 14 × 18 14 × 7 34 in. (97.2 × 34 × 19.7 cm)
Credit Line
The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson
Mediums Description
paint on articulated cut sheet metal
  • Allegory — religion
  • Object — art object — sculpture
Object Number

Artwork Description

David Butler fashioned a garden of shaped metal forms on and around his Louisiana home. His sculptures are an interplay of representation and abstraction, rooted in biblical stories and Butler’s dream life in equal measure. As he often did, he made the figure—in this case the Virgin Mary, carrying the baby Jesus within her—with articulated, adjustable parts, so she could move in the wind or be positioned differently. By creating an environment wherein things looked, sounded, and felt alive, Butler felt assured that the spirits were present and protective.
(We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection, 2022)