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William Ned Cartledge
The White Fence
oil painted wood carving
Image: 44 1/8 × 30 3/8 inches (112.1 × 77.2 cm)Framed: 44 3/4 × 31 3/16 × 1 3/4 inches (113.7 × 79.2 × 4.4 cm)
Mixed Media
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Miller.
Accession Number
Born in Canon, Georgia in 1916, Ned Cartledge began carving wood as a child. His varied experience took him from Atlanta to service in a mortar battalion in World War II, to Memphis and back to Georgia where he worked for the cotton arbitration board. He began exhibiting his work in the late 1960s and won a best of show award at the Savannah Arts Festival in 1970.

Cartledge produced a range of work from whimsical carvings to his best-known subjects – searing commentaries on race and politics in America. In this work, African American hands reach out from a fiery background to grasp a white picket fence which functions as prison bars. This stark work communicates the artist’s passionate interest in civil rights as well as the turbulence of the era.