Prometheus, took pity on the helplessness of primitive man. he stole fire from the gods and gave it to man. Zeus (Jupiter) was so angered that he caused Prometheus to be chained to Mount Caucasus. A vulture came every day to tear at his liver, and every night the liver grew again. Prometheus suffered for thousands of vears. At last Hercules killed the vulture and set Prometheus free.
The Prometheus Ballet is based upon the above Greek mythology. I conceived the drawing as a ballet using costumes, masks, etc. to further the allegorical content. the Prometheus figure is identified with the stylized mask of Martin Luther King who is "bringing fire" to his people; he being chained to (the wildest coincidence) Mt. Caucasus. The Vulture symbolically "tearing at his liver" and the fire plug image adding to the insult are fairly obvious in their identity and extremism, while in the background a valiant Hercules (Kennedy) tries, behind two masks of Uncle Sam (one white and one black) to wrench his weapon from the ground in order to slay the Vulture (hate and predjudice).
Prometheus ballet, 196-. Billy Morrow Jackson prints, [ca. 1965]. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Current copyright status is undetermined
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution Washington, D.C. 20560