A Black man plays guitar while a Black woman sews.

September is National Sewing Month, so our collection spotlight shines on “Singing and Mending” by Robert Gwathmey.

The artist, a white male, depicted rural life in the South in order to provide commentary on the power structures at play. Try “slow looking” as you consider the historical period, title, color and composition.

The guitar player’s head is angled down. What do you think his body language indicates? Both subjects have strong black lines on their forehead. Is this a happy scene? Consider how color choice could convey a mood.

Imagine the rhythm of her stitch in time with his guitar strokes and hear her song.

A Black man plays guitar while a Black woman sews.

"I'm a social being and I don't see how you can be an artist and be separate....Artists have eyes...You go home. You see things that are almost forgotten. It's always shocking."

Robert Gwathmay

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