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Between and Mortarboard

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Accession Number


Blanch Ackers

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
crayon on paper

12 1/16 in x 17 15/16 in (30.64 cm x 45.56 cm);15 1/16 in x 21 in (38.26 cm x 53.34 cm)

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

Label copy
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.
In her work, School, Blanch Ackers presents a school scene that is similar to the exterior and playground at Ford Elementary school, where she worked as a teacher’s aide. The pinkish red swings are still present on the playground as well as the blue roof on the school building. Typical of her work, Blanch Ackers drew upon her daily experiences to paint a subject that was familiar to her.
Lindsay Meehan
Modern and Contemporary Art Intern

Subject matter
This work is reminiscent of Ackers' drawings, which often call on her memory of her own life experiences. She was in the Foster Grandparent Program at Ford Elementary in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and after being assigned to help with an art class, she seemed interested in the children's work, so the teacher gave her art supplies as well. This scene possibly reflects the school yard where Ackers taught and is characteristic of her fine attention to detail but lack of proportion and perspective.

Physical Description
This is an image of a school building and school yard from a birds-eye perspective. The school building is in the center of the image, and is gray with a blue roof and yellow in the windows and doorway. The building is surrounded by two red swing sets, a basketball hoop, a blue slide, and a tree. Children are scattered throughout the scene on the play equipment, and are also visible through the windows of the school.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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African American
children (people by age group)
schools (buildings)
self-taught artists

& Author Notes

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