Collection Artwork
album back cover for "Atlantis" by Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Arkestra
c. 1969
offset print on paper
Sun Ra Arkestra (born Chicago, Illinois, mid-1950s)
El Saturn Records (born Chicago, Illinois, 1957)
paper size: 14 x 14 in.
Gift of John Corbett & Terri Kapsalis

Object Label

The back jacket of Sun Ra’s Atlantis LP invokes “The Dead Past”—a phrase that also appears on the sleeves of several other Sun Ra albums. Ra’s vision of a society that has left corrupted Western society behind— somewhat in line with radical black separatist movements of his time—led him to call for the transposition of the black community away from the whites that oppressed them. His 1974 film, Space is the Place, begins in just such a community: an all-black colony on another planet. This album’s title, Atlantis, alludes to a lost city that is completely cut off from the rest of the world. Is such a relic of the “dead past” counter-intuitively an inspiration for the very utopian society that Ra has been looking for?
—Max Lowe ’19

From the exhibition: Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow (April 13 – April 16, 2017)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.
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