description of Forever Free by Sargent Johnson

This three foot tall painted wooden sculpture depicts a wide-eyed black woman, standing tall with her hands at her side. Wearing a floor-length black skirt, a modest white blouse, and her hair tied back, the woman stands rigidly straight with her chin raised, gazing slightly upward. Her body is smooth and slightly stylized with an exaggerated cylindrical shape, but the features of her face have been realistically carved and painted. Partially covered by her hands are two nude [black] children that have been painted and carved in relief on the front her skirt. They stand in profile, reaching for each other, although the child on our left looks directly at us.

Sargent Johnson, Forever Free, 1933
Sargent Johnson, Forever Free, 1933; wood and paint, 36 in. x 11 1/2 in. x 9 1/2 in. (91.44 cm x 29.21 cm x 24.13 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Mrs. E. D. Lederman; © Estate of Sargent Johnson

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Forever Free
Artist name
Sargent Johnson
Date created
1933
Classification
sculpture
Medium
wood and paint
Dimensions
36 in. x 11 1/2 in. x 9 1/2 in. (91.44 cm x 29.21 cm x 24.13 cm)
Date acquired
1952
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Mrs. E. D. Lederman
Copyright
© Estate of Sargent Johnson
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/52.4695
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900

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