Untitled (Civil Rights March), c. 1963


Oil on canvasexpand_more

Gift of Mary and Bob Merskyexpand_more  2022.98.12

A confident group of civil rights marchers stand up to the frightening messengers of hate in Charles Alston’s stark painting. Although painted from his imagination Alston’s composition has echoes of historic anti-racist demonstrations that occurred in Birmingham, Alabama in May 1963. Peaceful marchers were threatened and attacked, and the conflict drew international attention to the ongoing injustices faced by Black Americans. Alston likely included his painting in the 1965 exhibition of the Black artists’ group he co-founded called Spiral, which was dedicated to using a black and white palette to craft responses to the civil rights movement.

Untitled (Civil Rights March)
Artist Life
1907 - 1977
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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