Picture in Focus: Right in the Palm of God's Hand by Ruth Starr Rose

August 28, 2016

Picture in Focus: Right in the Palm of God

The graphic works of this week's featured American printmaker have not fared so well in a time of controversy over "cultural appropriation," but Maryland-born artist, Ruth Starr Rose, genuinely sought to promote racial equality and cross-community understanding in the lithographs and serigraphs she created illustrating African-American sacred songs in the era before the Civil Rights Movement. My latest addition to the Ruth Starr Rose biosketch gallery is an early lithographic version of a serigraph already on display, Right in the Palm of God's Hand. In this richly symbolic black-and-white variation on the theme, trees bend in the wind, the beasts of the field look up in awe, and rows of hands are raised in acclamation of this noble figure of a black man protected by God. (John Kohan)