Accession Number


Blanch Ackers

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
graphite, colored pencil, crayon, black ink, and marker on white wove paper

12 1/16 in x 17 15/16 in (30.6 cm x 45.6 cm);15 3/16 in x 21 in (38.5 cm x 53.3 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Daniel and Harriet Fusfeld Folk Art Collection

Label copy
Blanch Ackers
United States, born 1916
Graphite, colored pencil, crayon, ink, and marker on paper
Gift of the Daniel and Harriet Fusfeld Folk Art Collection, 2002/1.196
Ackers, who served as a foster grandparent at Ypsilanti’s Ford Elementary School, was introduced to watercolor painting through the school’s arts activities. In the 1940s, Ackers had moved to the Detroit area with a brother as part of the Great Migration, the mass movement of African Americans from the fields of the American South to the industrial areas of the North in search of employment. Many of Ackers’s images, like Homestead and Yellow Interior (in an adjacent drawer), recall her childhood in rural Arkansas.
(Out of the Ordinary, 2010)
The daughter of a poor Arkansas sharecropper, Ackers moved to the Detroit, Michigan area in 1943 to work in a wartime factory, and then to Ypsilanti, Michigan where she has lived ever since. In 1985, Ackers began to work in the Willow Run School District as part of the Foster Grandparent Program run by Child and Family Services. While working at Ford Elementary School in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Ackers was introduced to drawing and watercolor painting by Christine Hennessy, an art teacher.
Homestead is a farm scene, which recalls her years on her father’s farm. The scene depicts many aspects of rural living with which Ackers would have been familiar from her childhood. Describing her choices of subject matter and style, Ackers says, "I imagine it and I start drawing."
Lindsay Meehan
Modern and Contemporary Art Intern

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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& Author Notes

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