On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, take a look at this etched portrait of Dr. King. What do you notice?
This work was generously donated to the National Gallery of Art last year by artist John Wilson’s family in honor of President Barack Obama. John Wilson was 92 when he passed away in 2015, after a long career exploring social and political themes in art. He was not only a great printmaker, but also an accomplished sculptor. One of his most notable creations is a three-foot tall bust of Dr. King which went on view in the United States Capitol Rotunda in 1986. The Gallery’s print echoes a frontal view of that sculpture. Wilson lived and worked in the Boston area and this etching was printed by James Stroud of Center Street Studio in Milton, Massachusetts.
John Wilson, James Stroud, Center Street Studio, “Martin Luther King, Jr.,” 2002, softground etching, hardground etching, aquatint, spitbite aquatint with scraping and burnishing on chine collé on wove paper