Herbert Singleton (American, 1945–2007)
Wooden door with enamel paint
115 1/4 x 48 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches
T. Marshall Hahn Collection
Herbert Singleton has depicted a New Orleans jazz funeral on a discarded church door. The top rail is lined with mourners, who are surrounded by lyrics from a song by Sam Theard. The door panels present the death rites: the central panel depicts a gravedigger next to the aboveground burial vault characteristic of New Orleans cemeteries, and the top shows Black angels and Jesus greeting the soul in his afterlife. Musicians parade up the center stile, while buck jumpers cavort on the inner stiles. Line dancers prance along the edges carrying umbrellas, a distinguishing feature of jazz funerals in New Orleans and some African communities.
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