Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Still Life with Fetish

Artist:
Wilmer Angier Jennings (American, 1910–1990)
Date:
1937
Medium:
Wood engraving
Dimensions:
Sheet: 15 7/8 x 11 1/8 in. (40.3 x 28.3 cm) Image: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Gift of Reba and Dave Williams, 1999
Accession Number:
1999.529.74
Not on view
A prominent and versatile printmaker, Jennings executed this engraving during his employment with the Works Progress Administration, part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. Composed of flowing lines that describe a wide range of textures and materials, Still Life with Fetish showcases Jennings’s elegant draftsmanship. Placed prominently near the center of the composition, an African carving sits between a healthy sansevieria plant and a funerary urn. Evoking the artist’s own African ancestry, the sculpted figure also mediates literally and symbolically between life and death.
Inscription: Signed and inscribed (in pencil, lower left): Still Life; (lower center): 19; (lower right): WilmEr JEnnings
[Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, sold ca. 1991 to Williams]; Reba and Dave Williams, New York (ca. 1991–99; their gift to MMA)

Newark Museum, held jointly at the Equitable Gallery, New York. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," December 10, 1992–February 28, 1993, no. 34 (as "Still Life").

Long Beach Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," June 4–August 8, 1993, no. 34.

Cambridge, England. Fitzwilliam Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," October 5–December 19, 1993, no. 34.

Albany. New York State Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," January 5–March 13, 1994, no. 34.

New Haven. Yale University Art Gallery. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," April 7–June 12, 1994, no. 34.

Louisville. J. B. Speed Art Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," July 12–September 4, 1994, no. 34.

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," October 9–December 4, 1994, no. 34.

Baltimore Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," January 4–February 26, 1995, no. 34.

Charleston. Gibbs Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," March 26–May 21, 1995, no. 34.

Miami Beach. Bass Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," June 18–August 13, 1995, no. 34.

Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," September 10–November 5, 1995, no. 34.

Mobile, Ala. Fine Arts Museum of the South. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," December 3, 1995–January 28, 1996, no. 34.

Brooklyn Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," February 25–April 22, 1996, no. 34.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," May 17–July 14, 1996, no. 34.

Dallas Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," August 9–October 6, 1996, no. 34.

Saint Louis Art Museum. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," November 1, 1996–January 2, 1997, no. 34.

Atlanta. High Museum of Art. "Alone in a Crowd: Prints of the 1930's–1940s by African-American Artists; From the Collection of Reba and Dave Williams," January 31–March 30, 1997, no. 34.

Hamilton, N. Y. Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University. "Life Impressions: 20th-Century African American Prints from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 10–November 4, 2001.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "African-American Artists, 1929–1945: Prints, Drawings, and Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 15–May 4, 2003, extended to July 6, 2003, no. 3.

4 from Providence: Bannister, Prophet, Alston, Jennings. Black Artists in the Rhode Island Social Landscape. Exh. cat., Edward M. Bannister Gallery, Rhode Island College with the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. Providence, 1978, no. 7 (not this edition?).

Alain Locke. The Negro in Art: A Pictorial Record of the Negro Artist and of the Negro Theme in Art. (1st ed., 1940). New York, 1979, p. 119, ill.

Leslie King-Hammond. Black Printmakers and the W. P. A. Exh. cat., Lehman College Art Gallery. Bronx, 1989, ill. p. 20 (unknown edition).

Gary A. Reynolds and Beryl J. Wright. Against the Odds: African American Artists and the Harmon Foundation. Exh. cat., Newark Museum. Newark, 1989, p. 204, ill. (not this edition?).

Richard J. Powell and Jock Reynolds. To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Exh. cat., Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy. Andover, Mass., 1999, p. 201, no. 117, ill., as "Still Life–#71".

Corinne Jennings. Charles Alston, Artist and Teacher. Exh. cat., Kenkeleba Gallery. New York, 1999, fig. 3, as "Still Life".

Dewey F. Mosby in Life Impressions: 20th-Century African American Prints from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Dewey F. Mosby. Exh. cat., Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University. Hamilton, N. Y., 2001, p. 64, no. 19.

Dave H. Williams. Small Victories: One Couple's Surprising Adventures Building an Unrivaled Collection of American Prints. Boston, 2015, pp. 102, 109, fig. 9 (color).



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