Charles White: Black Pope


Highlights four decades of masterful work by one of the most important American artists of his generation through a close study of the major drawing Black Pope (Sandwich Board Man).


ISBN: 9781633450271 Category:

Esther Adler


Charles White (1918-1979) was an artist, a teacher and an activist. Widely celebrated during his lifetime for what his contemporaries termed ‘images of dignity’, his depictions of African American men, women and children continue to resonate today. White’s commitment to figuration, to directly addressing the social and political concerns of his time through his work, and to mastering mediums that allowed for wide circulation of his art established him as a major figure, and one with significant influence on his peers and followers. Through a close examination of White’s late masterwork Black Pope (Sandwich Board Man) in The Museum of Modern Art’s collection, this book considers White’s artistic practice and strategies. Beginning with his earliest days as an artist in Chicago in the 1940s, to time spent developing his craft in New York in the 1950s, and ending with his final decades as a revered figure in Los Angeles, Charles White: Black Pope explores the artist’s career through a focused consideration of key works. By creating visually compelling, ideologically complex works that engage audiences on many levels, White established himself as a key figure of his time, one whose work continues to resonate today.

Additional information

Weight 650 g
Dimensions 22.7 x 27.3 cm
Publisher name The Museum of Modern Art
Publication date 1 December 2017
Number of pages
Format Hardback
Dimensions 22.7 x 27.3 cm
Weight 650 g


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Esther Adler is Assistant Curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.