Martin Luther King's Garden

Jack Whitten painted Martin Luther King’s Garden the year of King's death and named the piece after a park dedicated to the iconic civil rights activists in Colombia, Missouri. Whitten felt that a garden was fitting for a painting representing a figure who was so inspirational to him. The painting portrays the joyfulness and colors of the park and king's successes, while still reflecting the struggles and confusion of the civil rights era. What do you think this garden might symbolize to Whitten? Can you sense feelings of hope, terror, or balance in the future?  Whitten was inspired by gardens, having a background in them and always having one in his backyard he felt that his was a beautiful them to work with. He was also inspired by the abstract expressionist artist Ashlie Gorky's, and his oil painting titled Garden in Sochi, which was painted in 1943 . He thought that a garden was a beautiful theme for a painting representing a iconic figure that was so inspirational to him. A garden being a metaphor for how Martin Luther King Jr laid the foundation and planted the seed that would grown into the civil rights and equality for all African American.