This impressive lithograph is by the late world-renowned artist John Tarrell Scott (1940-2007), New Orleans printmaker, painter and sculptor. His works over a nearly forty year career were inspired by Christian imagery, politics and social commentary. This lithograph entitled "Drexel's Dreams" incorporates religious symbols such as nuns wearing crosses and stylized church buildings. The edition, copyrighted in 2000, is numbered in pencil 152/200; the title is in pencil lower left and Scott's penciled signature is lower right. The sheet measures 18.5 inches by 25 inches; it's framed in a 2.5 inch wide dark brown, tiered wooden frame, with an overall size of 29 inches by 35 inches. It's triple matted in white, cut back to medium green and then black. There's a sturdy hanger on back--which is fortunate, since it weighs 10.5 pounds---the dust paper is pristine and the glass is UV protective.
Born to a very poor family on a farm in the Gentilly section of New Orleans, Scott studied at Xavier University of Louisiana, obtained his M.F.A. at Michigan State University and returned to Xavier, where he was on the Fine Arts faculty for more than 40 years. He was awarded the prestigious “Genius Grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 1992. Scott is the subject of a 2005 book titled "Circle Dance: The Art Of John T. Scott," by Richard J. Powell, the catalog that accompanied his major retrospective that year at the New Orleans Museum of Art. His biography is in "The Encyclopedia of African American Artists" (Dele Jegede, 2009, Greenwood). Numerous examples of his artworks works are in the Smithsonian Art Museum, Washington, D.C. and numerous other art museums around the country. He evacuated to Houston, Texas, fleeing his home just before Hurricane Katrina, and died in Houston in September, 2007 at the age of 67.
The title of this artwork is probably in reference to St. Katharine Drexel, a canonized saint in the Catholic Church who was an heiress to a banking fortune, a fierce advocate for the poor and a champion of racial justice in America. St. Katherine was a founder of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Negroes and Indians in 1891; in 1915, the Sisters founded Xavier University.
“New Orleans is the only city that I’ve been in that if you listen the sidewalks will speak to you.” —John T. Scott