Robert Colescott (American, 1925–2009)
Acrylic on canvas
84 x 72 inches
Purchase with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and Edith G. and Philip A. Rhodes
Robert Colescott worked to expose racial stereotypes and the biased socioeconomics of contemporary culture. According to the artist, Corn Rose is about the American promise of plenty and prosperity that goes unfulfilled for many. The title is multi-layered, referring to the history of American agriculture, which was long supported by slave labor; the traditional African American hairstyle; and the notion of archetypal beauty as indicated by the American Beauty rose. Colescott includes an image of George Washington assembling his powdered wig from ears of corn as a reminder that the United States’ first president was himself a slave owner.
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