Amon Carter print details

Runaways [5 of 10]

Glenn Ligon (b. 1960)

Object Details

  • Date


  • Object Type


  • Medium


  • Dimensions

    Image: 16 x 12 in.
    Sheet: 16 x 12 in.

  • Edition

    23/45 (10AP)

  • Inscriptions

    Sheet, Recto:

    l.l. along bottom edge of sheet in graphite: 23/45

    l.r. along bottom edge of sheet in graphite: Glenn Ligon [artist's hand] '93

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with funds provided by the Cynthia Brants Trust

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    © 1993 Glenn Ligon

Object Description

To create his series Runaways, Ligon asked his friends to write short texts describing him as if they were filling out a missing-persons report. The resulting accounts of his mannerisms and physical features struck Ligon as eerie reminders of the advertisements that 19th-century enslavers placed in local newspapers offering rewards for the capture of those attempting to escape slavery. To draw out this connection, he presented his friends’ texts with typography and imagery appropriated from historical newspapers and abolitionist pamphlets.

The series alludes to the lasting impact of slavery on how Black individuals continue to be represented in American society. At the same time, the varied characterizations of Ligon in Runaways underscore how individual identities elude socially and historically constructed markers of race, class, and gender.

—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)

Additional details

Location: Off view
See more by Glenn Ligon


Educator Resources
  • What connections exist between text and image?

    What are the limitations of a physical description of a person? What are the benefits of such a description?

    How can the language you hear used to describe someone impact your opinion of that person?

    What is an avatar? Why might someone choose to create or adopt an avatar to represent themselves?

  • Grades 4–12

    Before addressing the works of art, have students create a description of themselves that could be used to identify them in a crowded room by someone who had never met them. The description should be about three to four sentences long. Have one or two students read their descriptions. After looking at and discussing the Ligon images, ask students how they might extend their description to give a fuller, more precise sense of themselves, and have them add an avatar.

Amon Carter Disclaimer

This information is published from the Carter's collection database. Updates and additions based on research and imaging activities are ongoing. The images, titles, and inscriptions are products of their time and are presented here as documentation, not as a reflection of the Carter’s values. If you have corrections or additional information about this object please email us to help us improve our records.

Every effort has been made to accurately determine the rights status of works and their images. Please email us if you have further information on the rights status of a work contrary or in addition to the information in our records.