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John Woodrow Wilson, 1922 - 22 Feb 2015  Search this
John Woodrow Wilson, 1922 - 22 Feb 2015  Search this
Pastel on paper
Sheet: 60.8 × 35.3 cm (23 15/16 × 13 7/8")
Mat (Verified): 81.9 × 56.5 cm (32 1/4 × 22 1/4")
John Woodrow Wilson: American\African American  Search this
Exhibition Label:
John Wilson born 1922
Racial consciousness, John Wilson has admitted, was a key element of his art. "My experience as a black person has given me a special way of looking at the world," he stated, "and a special identity with others who experience injustice." Wilson was also attracted to the Mexican muralists, whose work, he felt, had a "kind of dense power." The boldness and scale of his self-portraits echo their heroic portrayals and themes of universal humanity. After living in Mexico City, Wilson worked in Chicago, New York, and Boston, where he taught for twenty-three-years. His bold, black pastel of 1963 resonates with the empowerment of the civil rights movement and the consciousness of presenting a black face in white America. He brought these same qualities to the monumental heads sculpted later in his career, including his Martin Luther King at the U.S. Capitol building.
Self-portrait  Search this
John Woodrow Wilson: Male  Search this
John Woodrow Wilson: Visual Arts\Artist\Sculptor  Search this
John Woodrow Wilson: Visual Arts\Artist\Printmaker  Search this
John Woodrow Wilson: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; the Ruth Bowman and Harry Kahn Twentieth-Century American Self-Portrait Collection
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© Estate of John Wilson/Licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery