The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, has acquired Kara Walker’s The Jubilant Martyrs of Obsolescence and Ruin (2015), a 58-foot-long cut-paper piece that, like much of the artist’s work, tackles racism and violence throughout American history. It joins two portfolios of work by Walker already in the museum’s collection.
Originally on view at Victoria Miro Gallery in London, The Jubilant Martyrs of Obsolescence and Ruin is loosely based on the Confederate Memorial Carving, at Georgia’s Stone Mountain. Walker has revised that monument, an ode to Confederate generals, to reflect on everything it leaves out: slavery, exploitation, and brutality. Its form alludes to 19th-century vernacular prints and satirical imagery.
In 2018, the High will put the work on view as part of a reinstallation of its permanent collection. In a statement, Rand Suffolk, the museum’s director, said that the work “profoundly questions the resonance of our collective past while challenging us to consider what exactly will determine a shared future.”