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Running with Black Panthers and White Doves (from the Panthers In My Father's Palace Series)

A work made of mixed media on canvas.

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  • A work made of mixed media on canvas.

Date:

circa 1989–1990

Artist:

Mary Lovelace O’Neal
American, born 1942

About this artwork

Since the late 1960s, Mary Lovelace O’Neal has expanded the field of abstract painting through her experiments with color, figuration, and materiality often speaking to the sociopolitical dimensions of race. Running with Black Panthers and White Doves was inspired by O’Neal’s travels in Morocco, particularly, in the artist’s own words, by “the biblical presence of North Africa, and a palace in Asilah, Morocco—the mosaics and moonlight that smeared the ocean.” The work derives its title from the dialogue of the black king in Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors: “I live in a black marble palace with black panthers and white doves.”

While the title conjures the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s, in which O’Neal was an active participant, the painting is anchored in the artist’s personal experience, particularly her relationship to her father. O’Neal performed in the opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, which her father, a music director at the University of Arkansas and Tougaloo College, staged each year. Merging the personal, the lyrical, and the political, Running with Black Panthers and White Doves transfigures O’Neal’s political views and aspirations into allegorical form, as the North African courtyard becomes the interior where, as the opera suggests, a black panther resides in perpetual motion.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Contemporary Art

Artist

Mary Lovelace O'Neal

Title

Running with Black Panthers and White Doves (from the Panthers In My Father's Palace Series)

Medium

Mixed media on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed on verso: Mary Lovelace O'Neal aka...MLO circa 89-90

Dimensions

205.7 x 350.5 cm (81 x 138 in.)

Credit Line

Promised gift of the Joyner/Giuffrida Collection

Reference Number

Obj: 257872

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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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