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Palmist Building


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Palmist Building

Artwork Details


William Christenberry
American, 1936–2016


1961–1988, printed 2014


Pigmented inkjet print

Accession #



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Currently Not on View


The Palmist Building is one of the most iconic structures in Christenberry’s extensive body of work. When he was a child, the clapboard building was a general store operated by his great uncle, but it was later home to a palm reader. The inverted hand-painted sign that covers a broken window initially enticed him to photograph the building in 1961.

His earliest photographs pinpoint the sign itself and the peeling whitewash around it. As he became more engrossed in the project, Christenberry carefully examined the relationship of the building to its surroundings, particularly the chinaberry tree that eventually engulfed it.


Gift of the artist

Image Copyright

(c) William Christenberry