America Is Hard to See

Solo en Inglès

Kids can listen and learn from this audio guide highlighting selected works in America Is Hard to See.

Charles White (1918-1979), Preacher, 1952. Pen and ink and graphite pencil on board, 22 13/16 × 29 15/16 × 3/16 in. (57.9 × 76 × 0.5 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase. 52.25 © 1952 The Charles White Archives

Charles White called this drawing Preacher—so we know this man is talking to a group of people. Of course, we can’t hear what he’s saying. But take a look at his eyes. Where are they looking? They might be gazing out at a big crowd of people, or up at the heavens—or both. And notice his hands. He reaches forward dramatically—one hand projects out so much that it’s almost bigger than his head! He’s using his whole body to get his point across. White, who was African American, made this drawing in 1952—when activists were just beginning to fight for racial equality. Religious leaders like this preacher were important figures in this struggle. How do you think White felt about this one?

Look closely at the drawing. White used both pen and pencil to make it. The lines are woven together, lightly in some areas and darker in others. This technique is called crosshatching. White uses it to create darker and lighter tones, and to make the image feel even more vivid and alive.