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Tribute to YMCA

Object Details

Artist
James Amos Porter
Date
c. 1934
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
Frame: 69 7/8 × 58 1/4 × 2 15/16 in. (177.5 × 148 × 7.5 cm)
Caption
Artist James A. Porter presented this painting to the Twelfth Street branch of the Washington, DC YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in 1934 to symbolize the organization’s dedication to community service. In the foreground, two Black men sit together at a table with a silver trophy. Behind them, a bookshelf is adorned with an upside-down triangle, symbolizing the YMCA and its emphasis on strengthening the mind, body, and spirit. These details suggest that one of the seated men may be Jesse Edward Moorland, who was an executive at the YMCA, served on the Board of Trustees at Howard University, and donated his personal library to the University. The painter likely would have been familiar with Moorland from his connection to Howard University, where Porter had been an undergraduate student, and later, a professor and chair of the art department.
Above, a group of men with a variety of skin tones representing different archetypes—including “thinker” and “athlete”—surround a classical monument with “YMCA” carved into the pediment. The organization became desegregated in 1946, more than a decade after Porter made the painting.
Accession Number
2003.0019.0008
Type
painting
See more items in
Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dl8f226be98-4dd3-4e4d-8a69-72ff812469e2
Record ID
acm_2003.0019.0008
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