Untitled (Woman and Child)

Copied Selma Burke, Untitled (Woman and Child), ca. 1950, painted red oak, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John A. Sakal and Terry L. Bengel in honor of Dr. Paul Albert Chew, Founding Director of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania, 2004.20

Artwork Details

Title
Untitled (Woman and Child)
Artist
Date
ca. 1950
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
overall: 47 1812 3411 34 in. (119.632.329.8 cm) 
Credit Line
Gift of John A. Sakal and Terry L. Bengel in honor of Dr. Paul Albert Chew, Founding Director of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Mediums
Mediums Description
painted red oak
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure group — female and child
Object Number
2004.20

Artwork Description

In Selma Burke's Untitled (Woman and Child) the figures appear to materialize out of the wood, and the woman's arm and child's back merge to represent the closeness of their bond. Burke followed an African practice of selecting carving materials for their symbolic value, and chose to sculpt this scene in red oak, which embodies the strength of the figures' relationship.

Luce Object Quote
"Art didn't start black or white, it just started. There have been too many labels in this world: . . . Negro, Colored, Black, African-American . . . Why do we still label people with everything except 'children of God'?" Selma Burke, quoted in Schwalb, "Without Color," ARTnews, September 1994