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Catalog Data

Created by:
Frederick C. Flemister, American, 1917 - 1976  Search this
Owned by:
Barnett-Aden Gallery, American, 1943 - 1969  Search this
oil on canvas
H x W: 30 1/4 × 24 1/8 in. (76.8 × 61.3 cm)
H x W x D (Frame): 35 3/4 × 29 × 1 3/4 in. (90.8 × 73.7 × 4.4 cm)
In high school, Georgia native Frederick Flemister studied with acclaimed painter and muralist Hale Woodruff. Upon his graduation in 1940, Flemister attended Woodruff’s alma mater, the John Herron Art Institute, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Flemister painted this self-portrait during his years at the Art Institute. It is painted in a style reminiscent of 15th-century Italian Renaissance portraiture as well as Woodruffs signature muralist aesthetic. In the work, he wears an artist’s smock, stands at a window overlooking a stylized landscape, and stares directly at the viewer. His choice of artistic style and visual directness reveals his deep admiration for his mentor and his interest in placing his work within the tradition of Western art.
This oil on canvas depicts the artist, Frederick C. Flemister. Shown from the chest up, the man in the image wears a loose white shirt with a black shirt peeking out of the neckline. On his head is a large green peaked cap. The man stands sideways with his right shoulder towards the viewer. Wearing a mustache, he turns his head and gazes toward the viewer. He stands in an arched window with a dark green marbled casement. Outside the window is a landscape, depicting a tree by a river, with rolling hillsides and mountains in the distance.
On the reverse side of the canvas is a partial study of a nude, showing a woman's torso and leg in red, possibly crayon. The nude is located in the center of the canvas. Below in the lower right quadrant is a sketch for a man's head, in black or dark blue. In the lower left quadrant are the artist's signature and the painting's title, written vertically. The title and the artist’s signature are also written in large letters above the nude.
African American  Search this
Art  Search this
Identity  Search this
Men  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Robert L. Johnson
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
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See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Visual Arts
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture