Many Mansions

Painting of three black youths gardening, residential towers loom in the background.

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  • Painting of three black youths gardening, residential towers loom in the background.

Date:

1994

Artist:

Kerry James Marshall
American, born 1955

About this artwork

Many Mansions is the first in Kerry James Marshall’s series of five large-scale paintings depicting public housing projects in Chicago and Los Angeles such as Rockwell Gardens, Wentworth Gardens, or, as in Many Mansions, Stateway Gardens. Struck by the absurdity of the term “garden” to describe these failed solutions to low-income housing, Marshall was inspired to represent the profound contradictions of living in such an environment. Many Mansions is filled with ironic and startling juxtapositions of the real and artificial—from the unnaturally cheerful landscape to the three haunting, ebony-skinned figures dressed in nostalgic Sunday best. The title of the painting, visible on the red ribbon above, is a variation on Christ’s oft-quoted remark found in John [14:2]: “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.”

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Kerry James Marshall

Title

Many Mansions

Origin

United States

Date

1994

Medium

Acrylic on paper mounted on canvas

Dimensions

289.6 × 342.9 cm (114 × 135 in.)

Credit Line

Max V. Kohnstamm Fund

Reference Number

1995.147

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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