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Between and Mortarboard


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Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

III

Accession Number
1994/1.84

Title
III

Artist(s)
Lorna Simpson

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1994

Medium & Support
wood box, waterless lithographed felt, and ceramic, rubber, and bronze wishbones

Dimensions
13 9/16 in x 5 1/2 in x 2 3/16 in (34.5 cm x 14 cm x 5.5 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Peter Norton Family Foundation

Subject matter
Simpson was comissioned to create this piece for the Peter Norton Family Christmas Project, of which an edition of 5,000 was made. Although Simpson is first and foremost a photographer, the nature of her work has changed over time. Simpson often includes text with visual images/objects, and there is an intentionally crafted air of mystery in her work—such as a piece unseen, anonymity, vague wording—that engages the consumer in the process of not just interpreting, but also creating meaning. Common themes throughout the artist's work include intersectionality, Black womanhood and society's gaze, and, memory and interpretation.

A Christmas card was included with this piece, and the text on the back was written by Thelma Golden; at the time, she was associate curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The text reads: "Lorna Simpson is best know for her photographic work which combines charged words with potent images of Black women whose faces are not revealed. By being elusive, her works involve the viewer in the creation of their meaning. At the heart of her subject matter is an investigation of the issues of race and gender. In her recent work, sculpture has been added to enrich the relationship of words and image. This work, "III", continues the evolution of her art. It centers on a wishbone, a key of her artistic imagery, and draws on the metaphorical meanings of the project's materials. III is Lorna Simpson's meditation on wishing."

Physical Description
A rectangular wooden box containing ceramic, rubber, and bronze wishbones encased in felt. A lithographed felt card rests on top of the wishbones. The text on the felt card reads: Wish #1 Wish # 2 Wish #3. The box top is engraved with "III" on the front. 

Primary Object Classification
Mixed Media

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
African American
bone (material)
boxes (containers)
felt (textile)
wood engraving (process)

2 Related Resources

African American Woman Artists
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
How We Express Ourselves
(Part of: I.B. Units of Inquiry)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved