Object Details

Mary L. Proctor
Wood laminated door with dual stiles, Wenco brand 3 hole sided hinges (brass), Kwikset brand Door knob, Acrylic, nail polish, house paint, Epoxy caulking, Equal brand Sugar Packets, Equal Cardboard container
2 1/4" - 3 3/4" (hinges) x 23 3/4" x 80"
Cite As
Gift of Mary Proctor
Missionary Mary L. Proctor (1960-) mixes found objects, oil paints, and text to share a lesson learned from her grandmother in this work made on a standard house door, complete with doorknob and hinges. A collage of artificial sweetener packets and boxes, carefully trimmed to emphasize the brand’s name, Equal, create a grandmother’s dress and shoes in hues of blue, white, and red. Primarily pale blue packets form the outfit and shoes of her granddaughter, whose hands are held by her grandmother. The cardboard and paper clothing illustrates their conversation, painted in black above them: “I said to my Grandma / what is it you ‘want the most’ / She said just to be treated ‘equal’ / That will be sweet baby.” The painting invokes racial equality, as grandmother and granddaughter are both African American, but also gender equality, as they stand against a pink background dotted with yellow and green, as well as white flowers flecked with green. As Proctor’s signature attests, she sees herself as a missionary and uses her art to spread messages of love, peace, joy, and hope, as well as to explore the equal treatment of women and African Americans. The Tallahassee, Florida artist’s work was featured in the Anacostia Community Museum’s exhibition, On Their Own: Selected Works by Self-Taught African American Artists (2005).
Accession Number
mixed media panel
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
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