The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of July 16, 2024

The Means to an End...A Shadow Drama in Five Acts: The Hunt

The Means to an End...A Shadow Drama in Five Acts: The Hunt

(American, b. 1969)
published by
Sheet: 88.8 x 60 cm (34 15/16 x 23 5/8 in.)
© Kara Walker
Location: not on view


In the 1990s, American artist Kara Walker became well-known for using the visual language of the silhouette—an historic form of portraiture popular during the time of slavery in the United States—to create large wall murals featuring imaginary stories of the antebellum South. Her stories are based on stereotypes of plantation life from novels like Gone with the Wind, but with disturbing or unresolved storylines. This group of etchings functions as one story, titled sheet by sheet like chapters in a historical romance novel: “The Beginning,” “The Hunt,” “The Chase,” “The Plunge,” and “The End.” Designed to provoke viewers, Walker’s work has induced powerful responses. Walker herself has said, “Challenging and highlighting abusive power dynamics in our culture is my goal; replicating them is not.”
  • "November at the CMA." Cleveland Art: Cleveland Museum of Art Members Magazine vol. 63, no. 3 (2023): 18. Reproduced: P. 18.
  • New Narratives: Contemporary Works on Paper. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (November 19, 2023-April 14, 2024).
    The Cleveland Museum of Art (1/26/2014 - 5/18/2014); "Our Stories: African American Prints and Drawings"
    Main Gallery Rotation (gallery 229): May 5, 2009 - September 11, 2009.
  • {{cite web|title=The Means to an End...A Shadow Drama in Five Acts: The Hunt|url=false|author=Kara Walker, Landfall Press|year=1995|access-date=16 July 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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