Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
A painting of an artist with his palette.

The painting shows a Black artist with his painter’s palette. The artist is center, his skin tone is an intense black, his features are not easily discernible other than his eyes and two lighter highlights on his forehead. The palette is large, it slopes down from the center right across the picture plane and covers most of the bottom edge. Colors are spread out in various shapes across its surface. He hold a brush in his left hand which he is dipping into a daub of black paint. The background is black broken into squares and rectangles by off-white lines.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Kerry James Marshall, American (Birmingham, Alabama born 1955)
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 1, Room 1200, Modern and Contemporary Art, Mid–century Abstraction I
View this object's location on our interactive map

Physical Descriptions

Acrylic on PVC panel
184.79 x 155.58 x 10.16 cm (72 3/4 x 61 1/4 x 4 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
[Jack Shainman Gallery, New York], sold; to Harvard Art Museum, 2008.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Richard Norton Memorial Fund and purchase through the generosity of Nancy B. Tieken
© Kerry James Marshall
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.

Publication History

  • Kerry James Marshall: Being and Artist, website, Art21, Inc., 2008,
  • Cate McQuaid, Contemporary art in the foreground at Harvard Art Museums, The Boston Globe (Boston, MA, November 1, 2014)
  • Helen Molesworth, ed., Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, exh. cat., Skira Rizzoli Publications, Inc. (New York, 2016), p. 179, pl. 53, ill. (color)
  • Carroll Dunham, "The Marshall Plan: Kerry James Marshall's 'Mastry'", Art Forum (New York, 2017), Vol. 55, No. 5, cover, Cover
  • Kathy Halbreich, ed., Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art and Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager (New York, 2018), p. 120, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

  • Re-View: S118 European & American Art since 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 09/13/2008 - 04/09/2011
  • 32Q: 2210 West Arcade, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/02/2019 - 07/14/2021
  • 32Q: 1120 Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 04/06/2016
  • 32Q: 1200 Mid-Century Abstraction I (Painterly Abstraction), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/04/2021 - 01/01/2050
  • 32Q: 3620 University Study Gallery, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/17/2017 - 01/07/2018; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/20/2018 - 05/06/2018
  • Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Chicago, 04/23/2016 - 09/25/2016; The Met Breuer, New York, 10/25/2016 - 01/29/2017; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, 03/12/2017 - 07/02/2017

Subjects and Contexts

  • Iconic Works

Related Articles

Related Media

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at