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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Folk Art: Folk Reliefs: Glad You Dead You Rascal You
Glad You Dead You Rascal You

Glad You Dead You Rascal You
about 1990
Herbert Singleton
painted cypress
22 1/4 x 69 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (56.5 x 177.2 x 3.8 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
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Louis Armstrong remembers jazz funerals 5.5MB
Hear more about Glad You Dead You Rascal You 1.1MB

This carving by Herbert Singleton shows a New Orleans jazz funeral, with mourners walking slowly behind the procession and musicians dancing ahead (Lynda Hartigan, African American Art: Recent Acquisitions, 1999/2000). Many of Singleton’s paintings depict African American life in New Orleans, emphasizing the city’s problems with drugs, shootings, and prostitution. The title of this piece is a line adapted from the 1929 song written by jazz musician Sam Theard and made famous by Louis Armstrong.

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