The Anacostia Community Museum will be closed from January 8, 2024-March 22, 2024. We will reopen on Saturday, March 23, 2024 with our next exhibition, A Bold and Beautiful Vision: A Century of Black Arts Education in Washington, DC,1900-2000. We hope you will join us! 

Etching by Percy Martin and Students

Object Details

Percy Martin
late 20th Century
etching on paper
11 3/4 × 14 3/4 in. (29.8 × 37.5 cm)
Cite As
Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
This etching, produced collaboratively by Percy Martin and his students, depicts a magical society. This is a recurring theme in Martin’s work, but its reimagining here through the eyes of children is an interesting exercise in artistic and social education. It is a task of creating an environment and thinking about how a community could exist within it. The ability to imagine a whole new world holds power and their signatures are a testament to the efforts the students put into the project.
This etching, produced collaboratively by artist Percy Martin and six other individuals (likely his students), depicts a magical society. Figures hold spears in the foreground, where an enormous fish swims in a small pond. A tent and an elephant on the horizon line are dwarfed by a soccer ball high in the air, proportional in size to Saturn and the sun. The right side of the image is covered in an abstract design featuring thin lines, jagged edges, and an enormous daisy. Thematically, the image shares commonalities with Martin’s work the Bushmen, a project that tells the story of a mythical people he imagined. Here, the intellectual exercise of envisioning a society is collaborative, evidencing how utopian dreaming and artistic creation are the first step towards realizing a better world.
Accession Number
See more items in
Anacostia Community Museum Collection
Data Source
Anacostia Community Museum
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Record ID
Back to Top