Grace Artist: Richard J. Powell (American, born 1953, M.A. 1982, M.Phil 1984, Ph.D. 1988)


Prints and Drawings

Not on view

In this print, artist and art historian Richard J. Powell brings artistic modernism and celebrity culture together in a reconfiguration of traditional portraiture. The two profiles evoke the art forms of the early twentieth century, drawing on the modernists’ fascination with African art, particularly Fang reliquary heads and masks from the Baule, Guro, and Dan peoples. In the angular severity of the figure’s upright, closely cropped hair, the unmistakable image of Grace Jones—American model, singer, and celebrity—emerges. Through this convergence, Powell choreographs a dynamic mode of signification that simultaneously questions and celebrates the visual histories that shape African American cultural expression and its relationship to the discipline of art history.


Etching and aquatint


sheet: 29 5/8 × 41 5/8 in. (75.2 × 105.8 cm)
framed: 36 7/8 × 48 7/8 × 2 in. (93.7 × 124.1 × 5.1 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Teresa Grana

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

aquatints, etchings


Recto LL in ink: Grace"; recto center in ink: Artist's Proof


Recto, LR corner in ink: Powell /87

Technical metadata and APIs


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