Museums

In Baltimore Museum of Art exhibit, Jack Whitten’s sculptures explore the life of the renowned painter

In Baltimore Museum of Art exhibit, Jack Whitten’s sculptures explore the life of the renowned painter

More than anything in the world, the late African-American artist Jack Whitten wanted to protect the people he loved. So, using his talent and his decades of carpentry and wood-carving experience, Whitten set out to fashion tools he thought might do the job.

Though Whitten already had a formidable reputation as a painter, his canvases seemed somehow not suited to that task.

In the early 1960s, Whitten began carving sculptures — guardian sculptures designed with specific beneficiaries in mind, and container sculptures stuffed with objects invested with spiritual powers that functioned similar to Catholic reliquaries holding the bones and blood of martyred...

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