Self-taught, Alabama-born artist Lonnie Holley makes visible the invisible forces that inform society and our lives through both the visual arts and music. In Teaching My Child How to See Grandmother’s Mask, the singular unit of a silhouetted mother and child meld together as they face the mask worn by a ghostly grandmother figure. They appreciate the mask not with their eyes, of which they have none, but with the knowledge of a deeper ancestral connection to the past.
Membership & Events Manager Kristen Boddy shares why this is her favorite work in the Collection:
When I first came across it, I was completely struck by the power of the imagery. I especially enjoy the dreamlike quality of the floating mask next to the silhouetted figure.
[Lonnie B. Holley, Teaching My Child How to See Grandmother’s Mask, 1992, acrylic on paper, 27⅜ x 26¼ inches. Gift of Delphia Allen Lamberson and Hoke Smith Holt, 2002.01.04.24.]