Who’s the Illegal Alien, Pilgrim?

  • Yolanda López, Who's the Illegal Alien, Pilgrim?, 1981, offset lithograph on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Samuel and Blanche Koffler Acquisition Fund, 2020.43.1, © 1978, Yolanda Lopez

López conceived an early version of her iconic poster Who’s the Illegal Alien, Pilgrim? while working on a local campaign in response to President Jimmy Carter’s Immigration Plan. The Aztec warrior’s stance recalls that of Uncle Sam in James Montgomery Flagg’s I Want You” army recruitment posters, pointing a finger at the viewer and ordering young men to enlist. In mimicking Flagg’s iconic image, López gives her poster a subversive authority. Her question directed at pilgrims” interrogates who can identify others as illegal aliens,” especially since Mayflower settlers from Europe arrived in the Americas without papers.”

Title
Who’s the Illegal Alien, Pilgrim?
Artist
Date
1981
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
sheet and image: 22 12 × 17 34 in. (57.2 × 45.1 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Samuel and Blanche Koffler Acquisition Fund

Mediums Description
offset lithograph on paper
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Figure male
  • History – United States – immigration
Object Number
2020.43.1
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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