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Untitled (Black Elephant with a Brown Ear)

Folk and Self-Taught Art

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Untitled (Black Elephant with a Brown Ear)

Artwork Details


Bill Traylor
American, 1854–1949


ca. 1939–1940


Poster paint and pencil on paper

Accession #



14 5/8 x 25 3/4 inches


Currently Not on View


Traylor’s dynamic use of line is eloquent in the subtle dorsal curve of an elephant. Supple undulations add energy to this portrait of a calm but powerful beast. The repetition of ovals in the bulbous tail tip and feet establishes a rhythm that is interrupted by the color of the dainty oval ear, whose startling brownness draws the viewer’s eye into contact with that of the animal.


T. Marshall Hahn Collection