Project Description

Warrington Colescott is an American artist best known for his satirical etchings. Colescott studied painting while at University but discovered his love of printmaking in the 1960s. This print is a part of The Great Society series, which is aimed at former president Lyndon B. Johnson’s grandiose political agenda of the same name. Launched in 1964, Johnson began a series of programs aimed at ending poverty and racial inequality. Medicare, Medicaid and the Older American’s Act are programs that survive from Lyndon’s Great Society efforts. Colescott ridicules the reality of these utopian ideologies with graphic imagery. The main figure in the foreground is an overweight police officer brandishing a baton. In the upper left-hand corner there is a photo of a football team. In the upper right-hand corner is a street mob surrounding a Police car labeled as  “Dogs”. The rest of the page is filled with racial unrest, sexual exploitation, and a meandering expressway. Billboards alongside the road speak of consumption, emblazoned with the words “Steak”, “Chicken”, and “Shrimp”. Colescott was of Louisiana Creole descent. The culture influenced and inspired him. Creole tradition was, he said: “a rich tradition of cuisine and music, of skeptical judgments, of irony and humor in expression.”

-Susan Bonta, Class of 2018

Object Details

Warrington Colescott (American, born 1921)
17 ½” x 17 ½”
Color Etching and Drypoint
Gift of Gerry and Shelly Elliot