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Martin Luther King, Jr. And Coretta Scott King

Folk and Self-Taught Art

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Martin Luther King, Jr. And Coretta Scott King

Artwork Details


Vernon Burwell
American, 1916–1990




Painted concrete over wire and metal armature

Accession #



each approx. 27 × 10 × 10 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 404


Inspired by traditional bronze busts that depict great men in history, Vernon Burwell created this homage to civil rights icons Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. He used materials from the hardware store such as wire, concrete, and gold-colored paint to emulate the metallic sheen of cast sculpture.

In his front yard in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Burwell once displayed life-size sculptures that included a commanding Jesus Christ figure, Abraham Lincoln, and another version of Dr. King riding a rearing horse, like a revolutionary war hero going into battle.


Museum purchase, and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection