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Untitled (Detroit Mich)

Accession Number
2002/1.204

Title
Untitled (Detroit Mich)

Artist(s)
Sam Mackey

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1987-1992

Medium & Support
orange, purple, and green crayon, ink and graphite on cream wove paper

Dimensions
18 7/8 x 11.9 in. (47.94 x 30.32 cm);20.9 x 13 7/8 in. (53.18 x 35.24 cm)

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

Label copy
Sam Mackey
United States, 1897–1992
Untitled (Detroit Mich)
1987–92
Crayon, ink, and graphite on paper
Gift of the Daniel and Harriet Fusfeld Folk Art Collection, 2002/1.204
While Sam Mackey had worked as a commercial house painter most of his life, he did not start making art until he was 89 years old. In addition to individual drawings, Mackey also started cleaning up abandoned lots on Heidelberg Street in Detroit with his grandson Tyree Guyton—the humble beginnings of the large-scale art environment now known internationally as The Heidelberg Project. One of Mackey’s contributions to The Heidelberg Project was his use of large, colorful polka dots to cover surfaces—a motif that is now the major emblem of the installation.
(Out of the Ordinary, 2010)
Living in Detroit since 1918, Sam Mackey was born near St. Louis, Missouri. At the suggestion of his grandson, Tyree Guyton, Sam Mackey began drawing as a way of dealing with his loneliness after his wife’s death. Although he had no formal artistic training, he enjoyed making drawings that record his memories and aspirations. Sam Mackey was the inspiration for Tyree Guyton’s art and also assisted him with the Hiedelberg Project.
Lindsay Meehan
Modern and Contemporary Art Intern
2002

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Primary Object Type
caricature

Additional Object Classification(s)
Drawing

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
abstraction

2 Related Resources

Detroit-Area Artists
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Folk, Self-taught, Amateur, and Visionary Art
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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