The Cop

Maker and role
Artist: Benny Andrews, American, 1930-2006
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Object detail

Oil on canvas with fabric collage
24 x 18in (61 x 45.7cm)
Credit line
Museum purchase with the Helen and Everett H. Jones Purchase Fund
Accession number
Object type
Further information
Benny Andrews' The Cop is a portrait of a police officer the artist knew in his own community. The subject's ambiguous race engages the viewer to question his identity (the officer was, in fact, a white man). Painted in 1968, a tumultuous year in American history that saw the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the continuation of the Vietnam War, The Cop's textural rawness mirrors the tensions between the African American community and law enforcement during this turbulent time, making it especially poignant in today's climate of sociopolitical unrest.
The Grio; Dec 4, 2011; Illustrated in color on the website
Something to Say: The McNay Presents 100 Years of African American Art; René Paul Barilleaux, Lowery Stokes Sims (b.1949); 2018; p. 8, 16
Signature & date
Signed and dated, l.l.: Benny Andrews-68
Titled, signed, and dated, verso: The Cop/Benny/Andrews/1968
Subject period


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