Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Created by:
Unidentified  Search this
wood , paint , fiber and metal
32 3/4 x 20 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (83.2 x 52.1 x 11.4 cm)
20th century
A carved and painted wooden sculpture in the form of a caricatured man standing on a watermelon slice. The man has gray fibrous hair and a large red mouth. He is depicted wearing a suit and top hat styled like watermelons. The crown of the top hat is painted red with black seeds, white hat band and a green brim. He is wearing a white ruffled shirt, red necktie, and a green jacket with watermelon slices painted at each wrist with long tails. His shoes are black with white soles and his pants are painted red with black seeds. His arms are extended and he holds a light green watermelon with wavy green stripes in each hand. A metal stem protrudes from the top of each watermelon. A small whole watermelon is attached to the top right edge of the watermelon slice base. Attached on the top, left edge is a small watermelon with a slice cut out; the slice sits on top of the fruit. Both watermelons are light green with dark green wavy stripes and a metal stem at one end. Double-sided black and white feet are attached to the bottom of the slice.
Objects depicting racist and/or stereotypical imagery or language may be offensive and disturbing, but the NMAAHC aims to include them in the Collection to present and preserve the historical context in which they were created and used. Objects of this type provide an important historical record from which to study and evaluate racism.
African American  Search this
Caricature and cartoons  Search this
Stereotypes  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Collection of James M. Caselli and Jonathan Mark Scharer
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title:
Collection of James M. Caselli and Jonathan Mark Scharer
Furnishings, Housewares, and D├ęcor
Racist and Stereotypical Objects
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture