Victory in Zimbabwe

Media - 2019.1 - SAAM-2019.1_1 - 137743
Copied Jeff Donaldson, Victory in Zimbabwe, 1980, mixed media on cardboard, sheet: 4145 in; frame: 44 12482 14 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum Purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2019.1, © 2018, Estate of Jeff Donaldson

Artwork Details

Victory in Zimbabwe
sheet: 4145 in; frame: 44 12482 14 in.
© 2018, Estate of Jeff Donaldson
Credit Line
Museum Purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums Description
mixed media on cardboard
  • Allegory — place
Object Number

Artwork Description

Jeff Donaldson played a pivotal role in founding the artists' collective AfriCOBRA in Chicago in 1968. He then continued as an artist in Washington, DC, where he became a professor, gallery director, and eventually dean at Howard University.

Victory in Zimbabwe displays many hallmarks of AfriCOBRA aesthetics: symmetrical design, rhythmic pattern, and Afrocentric imagery. It also highlights Donaldson's unique practice of working with corrugated cardboard, a method he developed in the mid-1970s. By exposing the ribs of the cardboard and cutting and coloring intricate patterns in the material, he created an exuberant work celebrating Zimbabwe in the year it formally became independent from British rule.