After Manet, from May Days Long Forgotten

Due to copyright restrictions, access to this image is restricted to certain sizes outside the University of Michigan.
Black and white photograph in circular format depicting four young African American girls wearing floral dresses lounging on a blanket in the grass.
Carrie Mae Weems
“After Manet” functions as a critique of Edouard Manet’s “Olympia” of 1863 and “Le Dejeuner sur L’Herbe” 1862-63 which depict nude women, who are presumably courtesans or prostitutes. Weems feels Manet objectifies these women, portraying them as merely objects of beauty for man’s pleasure, and her work “After Manet” is a careful response, both formally and thematically. In Weems’ work the girls evoke a sense of youthful confidence. Unlike Manet, Weems presents her subject as empowered, visions of freedom and optimism, owned by no one.
Museum purchase made possible by the W. Hawkins Ferry Fund
Saturday, May 21, 2022
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