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William Christenberry
Pointed Male
lithograph on paper
Sheet: 34 × 24 inches (86.4 × 61 cm)
Credit Line
Museum purchase.
Accession Number
“It was in 1960 in my hometown of Tuscaloosa, AL, where I first encountered the Klan at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse. And it was enough to frighten me. I still have almost nightmares about that meeting. Well, I didn't see but one Klansman. But out of that encounter came a lot of work. And that stimulated or helped stimulated this need on my part to, as I've said many times, come to grips with that aspect of evil that we call the Ku Klux Klan.”

Christenberry was born in 1936 in Tuscaloosa, AL, during the Depression. His artwork is deeply rooted in his Alabama upbringing. Since the 1960s, Christenberry returned to the South from his Washington, D.C. home, finding inspiration in the places of his childhood. He began photographing Hale County's battered buildings and kudzu-overrun landscapes, and produced intricate sculptures, prints, and collections inspired by the Deep South.

The Klan Room was a work he developed over three decades. Examining the iconography of organized racism, it included nearly 400 objects, including hundreds of dolls menacingly dressed in the hooded disguises of the Klan. The Pointed Male and Pointed Female prints exemplify the exploration and fascination Christenberry held with the iconography and evil ideologies of the Klu Klux Klan from the 1960s onwards.