John Wilson’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr suite of proofs at Museum of Fine Arts Boston


The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, owns 20 incredible and deliberate states from John Wilson’s monumental etching of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The final state was printed in an edition of 50 in 2002. The 2002 print was based on a smaller Wilson drawing of Dr. King, a 1985 preparatory study for a bronze statue installed in the Rotunda of the US Capital in 1986. Wilson created other portraits of Dr. King including a monumental 8 feet tall bronze that was installed in Buffalo’s Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Its macquette went to the Butler Institute of American Art.


To make the etchings currently on view at the MFA, Wilson collaborated with master printer and artist Jim Stroud. Stroud is the founder and owner of Center Street Studio, named for its address in… Gloucester. Center Street Studio opened and operated from 1 Center Street from 1984 to 1986 before moving  to Boston. I co-curated an exhibition Civil Progress in American Art which featured John Wilson in 1986. More to come.

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