Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Brian Lanker, 31 Aug 1947 - 13 Mar 2011  Search this
Alice Walker, born 9 Feb 1944  Search this
Gelatin silver print
Image: 71.1 × 71.1 cm (28 × 28")
Sheet/Mount: 81.1 × 75.3 cm (31 15/16 × 29 5/8")
Mat: 89.8 × 88.7 cm (35 3/8 × 34 15/16")
Frame: 88.6 × 89.9 cm (34 7/8 × 35 3/8")
Exhibition Label:
Born Eatonton, Georgia
“I love this land. I’m not crazy about the nation.”
— Alice Walker
When her third novel, The Color Purple, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983, Alice Walker became the first African American woman to receive this honor. A bestseller that also captured a National Book Award, The Color Purple was adapted by Steven Spielberg as a feature film (1985) and later transformed into a Broadway musical (2005 and 2015).
The struggle and survival of strong Black women animates Walker’s work, reflecting the “womanist” perspective that she articulated. Early in her career, Walker drew inspiration from the writings of Zora Neale Hurston, whose powerful voice and perspective as a Southern Black woman had been long overlooked. Walker brought Hurston back into the public eye by publishing an acclaimed anthology of her work in 1979. More recently, Walker’s legacy has been complicated by her praise for a prominent Holocaust denier and by her poem “To Study the Talmud,” which many regard as antisemitic.
Nacida en Eatonton, Georgia
“Amo esta tierra. La nación no me gusta tanto.”
—Alice Walker
Cuando su tercera novela, El color púrpura, ganó el Premio Pulitzer de ficción en 1983, Alice Walker
era la primera mujer afroamericana que recibía ese honor. La novela fue un éxito de ventas y, además de obtener el Premio Nacional del Libro, fue adaptada al cine por Steven Spielberg (1985) y llegó hasta Broadway como musical (2005 y 2015).
El trabajo de Walker destaca la lucha y la supervivencia de mujeres negras de carácter fuerte, reflejando la perspectiva “mujerista” que articuló. A principios de su carrera, encontró inspiración en la obra de Zora Neale Hurston, cuya voz potente y perspectiva de mujer negra sureña habían sido largamente ignoradas. Walker le dio nueva visibilidad al publicar una aclamada antología de su obra en 1979. Más recientemente, el legado de Walker se ha complejizado por su endoso a un prominente negacionista del holocausto judío y por su poema “Estudiar el Talmud”, que muchos consideran antisemítico.
Costume\Jewelry\Earring  Search this
Exterior  Search this
Nature & Environment\Plant\Tree  Search this
Exterior\Forest  Search this
Nature & Environment\Plant\Ivy  Search this
Nature & Environment\Plant\Tree\Forest  Search this
Alice Walker: Female  Search this
Alice Walker: Literature\Writer  Search this
Alice Walker: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist  Search this
Alice Walker: Pulitzer Prize  Search this
Alice Walker: National Book Award  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; partial gift of Lynda Lanker and a museum purchase made possible with generous support from Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, Agnes Gund, Kate Kelly and George Schweitzer, Lyndon J. Barrois Sr. and Janine Sherman Barrois, and Mark and Cindy Aron
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
© Brian Lanker Archive
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery