Runaways [10 of 10]

Glenn Ligon (b. 1960)

Object Details

  • 1993
  • Medium:
  • Lithograph
  • Dimensions:
  • 16 X 12
  • Accession Number:
  • 2015.13.10
  • Artwork Credits:
  • Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with funds provided by the Cynthia Brants Trust

Object Description

Does the way other people describe us reveal anything about who we are? Ligon asked ten of his friends to describe him as if they were filling out a missing-persons report. What they wrote struck him as eerie reminders of the advertisements nineteenth-century slave owners placed to find runaways. He paired the text with images he borrowed from antislavery pamphlets and historical newspapers to emphasize the lasting impact of the Civil War on American society.

He brings to our attention that even with extensive visual and written information, we cannot fully know a person. Runaways shows us how the way we perceive ourselves and others varies widely and often includes racial, class, and social markers that are more generalized than individual.

Location: On View