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Catalog Data

Created by:
Barkley L. Hendricks, American, 1945 - 2017  Search this
Subject of:
Suzanne Brown, American  Search this
oil and acrylic on linen canvas
H x W x D (unframed): 48 × 48 × 1 1/4 in. (121.9 × 121.9 × 3.2 cm)
Barkley Hendricks revolutionized portraiture through his stylized realist and post-modern images of African Americans. He began painting life-size portraits as his primary medium to address the lack of Black representation in the American art canon. Hendricks chose his models from his family, friends, people he met on the street, and himself. This portrait of Suzanne Brown exemplifies his personal relationship with the sitters he painted. The title references his relationship to Brown, as well as the song “Miss Brown to You,” first recorded by Billie Holiday in 1935. Although many interpret his works as political statements, he maintained that they are not motivated by politics, stating, “My paintings were about people that were a part of my life...If they were political, it’s because they were a reflection of the culture we were drowning in.”
A vivid oil and acrylic portrait of a woman, Suzanne Brown, dressed in red and depicted against a bright red background. Pictured from the waist up, she wears a long sleeve bright red top with a round neckline and her hair is styled in an Afro. Her elbows are bent and her forearms rest against her waist with her left elbow jutting slightly away from her body. She gazes directly at the viewer. The background of the square painting is a slightly deeper red. The portrait is signed and dated at top right: [B. Hendricks 70]
African American  Search this
Art  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the National Endowment for the Arts
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© Barkley L. Hendricks
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Visual Arts
Reckoning: Protest. Defiance. Resilience.
On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 052
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture