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Corn Rose

Modern and Contemporary Art

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Corn Rose

Artwork Details


Robert Colescott
American, 1925–2009




Acrylic on canvas

Accession #



84 x 72 inches


On View - Wieland Pavilion, Skyway, Gallery 417


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.


Purchase with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and Edith G. and Philip A. Rhodes

Image Copyright

© Robert Colescott