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Christina’s Day Off (Down in the Dumps II)

Robert Colescott, American, 1925–2009
Acrylic on canvas
Made in
Tucson, Arizona, Southwest, United States, North and Central America
Current Location
On View, Gallery 248
84 x 72 in. (213.4 x 182.9 cm)
framed: 84 3/4 x 72 x 2 in. (215.3 x 182.9 x 5.1 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Brooke and Carolyn Alexander
© 2020 Robert Colescott / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Object Number
A woman named Christina poses in front of what appears to be a towering heap of trash. On closer inspection, desirable consumer goods, such as a pink car, are identifiable among the rubbish. The title of this painting refers to American artist Andrew Wyeth’s realist painting "Christina’s World" from 1948, in which a White woman crawls up a grassy hill toward a barn in the distance. In contrast, Robert Colescott represented Christina as an African American woman standing boldly upright and smiling. A wet paintbrush at Christina’s feet reminds us of the artist’s role in reimagining her story. In this work, Colescott both appropriated and critiqued stereotyped imagery, prompting difficult conversations around ideas of consumerism, race, gender, and desirability.
- 1984
Semaphore Gallery, New York, NY, acting as agent to artist [1]

1984 - 1993
Brooke and Carolyn Alexander, New York, NY, purchased from Semaphore Gallery [2]

1993 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Brooke and Carolyn Alexander [3]

[1] According to the donor's 1993 Noncash Charitable Contributions tax form, the donors purchased the work from the Semaphore Gallery in 1984 [SLAM document files].

[2] Gift letter from Brooke and Carolyn Alexander, December 4, 1993 [SLAM document files].

[3] Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, December 16, 1993.
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