Our collection galleries are continually being installed with newly acquired works as well as enduring favorites from the Museum’s collection. Visit us to view these newly installed objects in person.
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This colorful, mural-sized canvas depicts Nickerson Gardens in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. Artist Kerry James Marshall’s family lived there for two years after moving from Birmingham, Alabama. Marshall created Watts 1963 as part of his Garden Project, a series of five paintings that considers the irony of garden-named housing projects in Los Angeles and Chicago. The only autobiographical work of the series, Watts 1963 illustrates the artist at age eight, with his brother and sister. The children are placed under a festive banner carried by bluebirds of happiness bearing Alabama’s first state motto: “Here We Rest.” This painting reflects both the early optimism of the housing projects and the conditions of poverty, despair, and violence that eventually arose.
On view in Gallery 248
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