Collection Artwork
2014 7 25 pr w02
2014 7 25 pr w01
2014 7 25 pr w02
2014 7 25 pr w01
Kara Walker (born Stockton, California, 1969)
The Keys to the Coop
linocut on Rives BFK paper
Landfall Press (born Chicago, Illinois, 1970)
paper size: 46 x 60 1/2 in.
frame size: 55 1/2 x 70 x 2 1/8 in.
Gift of Peter Norton
LP2/40 [edition of 40, with 5 Landfall Press impressions]

Object Label

Kara Walker examines race, gender, violence, and class through her silhouetted figures of the antebellum South. By using the 18th-century bourgeois silhouette portraiture technique to create caricatures of racial stereotypes, Walker addresses “blackness” as a construct. Traditionally made by women, silhouette portraiture was deemed a craft, a sentimental keepsake or souvenir. It was also tied to the pseudo-science of physiognomy that linked one’s profile to intelligence. With such histories tied to her technique, Walker questions what it means for groups of people to define themselves through images, stereotypes, and memory.

From the exhibition: Dismantling the House (August 21 – October 18, 2015)

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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Dismantling the House
Pattern by Emma Fritschel ’19
Inspired by the exhibition Twice Drawn
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.