All self-taught, the artists featured in Of God and Country: American Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, currently on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, explore a range of themes – from this nation’s physical landscape and religious practices to its history of racism. Often using found objects to express their artistic visions, they offer a distinct perspective on the American experience.
The image featured above, “The Lamb and His Bride,” was fashioned by the late Southern artist, musician and painter Sister Gertrude Morgan with ink, acrylic and crayon on a repurposed Tide laundry detergent box. Several more images featured in this strikingly rich exhibition follow:
The late Miami-based Purvis Young, “Untitled,” Late 20th century, Paint on found wood construction
The late South Carolina-native Sam Doyle, “St. Helena First Black Embalmer John,” Reused corrugated, galvanized iron sheet, paint and remains of horizontal caulk line
The late Kentucky artist William L Hawkins, “Three Horses with Red Frame,” House paint on Masonite with nails and wood strips
The late West Africa–born, North Carolina-bred artist Simon Sparrow, “Assemblage with Faces” (Close-up), Repurposed found objects
The late Mississippi-born wood carver Elijah Pierce, “Love (Martin Luther King, Jr.),” Paint, glitter, and varnish on carved wood
Of God and Country: American Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection continues at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through January 1, 2024. Located at 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway in the heart of Philly, the museum is open: Monday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm; Thursday, 10:00 am–5:00 p.m; Friday, 10:00 am–8:45 pm; Saturday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm, and Sunday, 10:00 am–5:00 pm. It is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Photos: Lois Stavsky