Art & Social Issues in American Culture
Home Economics War Race & Ethnicity Resources Contact Us

Civil Rights

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Kennedy Brothers

by Elijah Pierce

Later in his career, Elijah Pierce was visibly influenced by popular culture and current events in his art. The idea for this work came from a print depicting Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy Jr. that hung in Pierce’s home.

However, Pierce enhanced the work by adding a patriotic color scheme and three gold stars above each of the men’s heads. Knowing that each of the American leaders was assassinated, what might the gold stars symbolize? Why are the men looking upward? 

Learn more about this artist:

Artist Biography

Lesson Plans

Romare Bearden - La Primavera

Elijah Pierce, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Kennedy Brothers, 1977, Carved and painted wood relief with glitter, 21 1/8 in. x 26 1/4 in. (53.66 cm x 66.68 cm)

Museum Purchase, Derby Fund, from the Philip J. and Suzanne Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art 1930-1970

Race Relations Anti-Semitism Lynching
Spirituality Civil Rights
Romare Bearden
George Biddle
Julius T. Bloch
Adolf Dehn
Joseph Delaney
Boris Gorelick
Robert Gwathmey
Joe Jones
Jacob Lawrence
Louis Lozowick
Elijah Pierce
Ben Shahn
George Tooker
James Turnbull

Contact Us : Rights and Reproductions : Acknowledgements

Columbus Museum of Art

© 2006
480 East Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215 614.221.6801