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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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Kerry James Marshall, American, born 1955; Watts 1963, 1995; acrylic and collage on canvas; 115 3/8 x 135 7/8 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Minority Artists Purchase Fund 190:1995; © Kerry James Marshall, Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

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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View the gallery below to learn more about New on View works in the collection. Find the location of the objects by following the More Information link in the caption below the image and plan your visit today.

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