V

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Clementine Hunter

Baptism, c. 1964

Oil on canvas

15.5" x 19.5"


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Baptism

One of the most celebrated African American self-taught artists of the twentieth century, Clementine Hunter's entire body of work revolves around her more than 100 years of experience on a rural Louisiana plantation. Hunter's images are predominantly focused on those experiences shared by the community of African Americans who lived and worked on the historic Melrose Plantation, where she spent most of her life. Baptism, one of many similar works portraying the ceremony surrounding the baptism of a child, underscores the great importance of the black church in the rural south. Hunter's apolitical commentary combined with her frank, unself-conscious style provides us with a fascinating narrative of southern black culture from within the plantation system.  A. L. C.

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