Untitled (Pig with Corkscrew Tail)

Media - 1983.11 - SAAM-1983.11_2 - 133436
Copied Bill Traylor, Untitled (Pig with Corkscrew Tail), ca. 1940, pencil and opaque watercolor on paperboard, sheet: 1218 in. (30.545.7 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak, 1983.11, © 1994, Bill Traylor Family Trust

Artwork Details

Untitled (Pig with Corkscrew Tail)
ca. 1940
Not on view
sheet: 1218 in. (30.545.7 cm)
© 1994, Bill Traylor Family Trust
Credit Line
Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak
Mediums Description
pencil and opaque watercolor on paperboard
  • Animal
  • Animal — pig
Object Number

Artwork Description

Bill Traylor was part of the first generation of black people to become American citizens. Born into an enslaved family in rural Alabama, he was an eyewitness to history: the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, the Great Migration, and the steady rise of African American culture in the South. In his late years, Traylor put down a lifetime of memories, dreams, stories, and scenes. His images reflect on seven long decades of farm labor and an evolving black citizenry in urban Montgomery. Some of his works are serene, others reflect the violent atmosphere of his time and place. Animals depicted alone on found cardboard are among Traylor's most easily recognizable works. He portrayed them as individuals, creatures he knew well, unique in shape and character in ways that went far beyond their species.