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Red paper flower made by Herman Wallace while incarcerated

Catalog Data

Created by:
Herman Wallace, American, 1941 - 2013  Search this
Subject of:
Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, American, founded 1835  Search this
paper (fiber product) and cloth
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 1 3/8 × 1 3/16 in. (27.5 × 3.5 × 3 cm)
Place used:
Angola, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, United States, North and Central America
after 1972
According to the artist Maria Hinds, who collaborated with Herman Wallace and the photographer Matthew Thompson on the project Surviving Solitary, Wallace loved flowers, particularly roses. He once shared a story about trying to grow flowers and plants in his cell which failed miserably due to the lack of natural light and soil. He did manage to get a potato to grow some roots in a cup of water. This rose was made by manipulating pieces of paper which were dyed or colored using whatever pens and markers he had access to. The detailed leaves were cut out using a (contraband) razor blade and nail clippers. Wallace gifted a number of similar paper flowers to supporters over the years, one of the many ways he continued to engage in social and political life despite his confinement.
A red handmade paper rosebud flower made by Herman Wallace while incarcerated at Angola Prison. The flower is constructed of red paper wrapped in a concentric pattern and folded to resemble petals, a green paper stem with intricately detailed green leaves and brown thorns made of tiny bits of twisted paper.
African American  Search this
American South  Search this
Craftsmanship  Search this
Design  Search this
Men  Search this
Nature  Search this
Prisons  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Maria Hinds
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:
Herman Wallace Archival Collection
Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture