The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has announced that it has purchased Robert Colescott’s 1975 painting — George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook.

Robert Colescott, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook, 1975

Robert Colescott, George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook, 1975

What’s Happening:

  • Robert Colescott’s 1975 painting — George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook, has been purchased by The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art at auction at Sotheby’s New York on May 12.

About the Painting:

  • The painting was first exhibited in 1975 at John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco.
  • It was then acquired by a private collector in 1976, where it has remained until now.
  • The painting measures 78 ½ x 98 ¼ inches.
  • “Over the years, it has come to be seen as the apex work in the career of Robert Colescott (1925–2009) and a stunning breakthrough in late 20th-century American art, emboldening many other artists with its outspoken Blackness, outraged and outrageous political content, high-handed appropriation of art history, and scabrous, satirical use of cartoon imagery.”

 What They’re Saying:

  • Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Lucas Museum: “The acquisition of this significant painting brings into our collection a dynamic vehicle for exploring the many dimensions of narrative art. It is at once a contemporary and historical work of art. Visitors to the Lucas Museum will be able to explore and unpack racially, socially, and historically charged and significant figures, such as George Washington Carver, Aunt Jemima, and Uncle Ben, that Colescott intrudes into the patriotic narrative known from popular culture and Emmanuel Leutze’s iconic, 1851 Washington Crossing the Delaware. Our hope is that they will consider how a visual artist can charge and change the story with complex histories and emotions.”
(Lucas Museum)

(Lucas Museum)

About the Museum:

  • The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is currently under construction in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, scheduled to open in 2023.
  • The building is designed by architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects, with Stantec as the architect-of-record.
  • The museum is co-founded by George Lucas and Mellody Hobson and led by Director and Chief Executive Officer Sandra Jackson-Dumont.
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