Throne (for Martin Luther King, Jr.) 1995
Artist: Ted Sitting Crow Garner (American, b. 1957)
Materials: wood, painted steel tubing
Provenance: Loan courtesy of the artist
Ted Sitting Crow Garner earned his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute after working as an assistant to sculptors Jerry Peart, John Henry, and Mark diSuvero (all of whom have work included in the collection of the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park). His sculpture has been exhibited throughout the United States and he has travelled the world assisting major artists with the installation of monumental sculpture.
Throne (for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) was created as the result of a grant provided by the city of Atlanta, Georgia. It was conceived and built for the 39th Annual Arts Festival of Atlanta and was originally installed in Piedmont Park, less than three miles from the civil rights leader’s birthplace on Auburn Avenue.
Garner’s large scale outdoor sculpture often incorporates the sinuous line of shaped steel tubing seen in this piece. The artist’s multi-hued color scheme reflects King’s dream of a United States where children of all ethnic backgrounds could grow up with the same opportunities for social and career advancement.
When viewed from the southeast, an eagle’s beak and head are clearly visible, formed by the juxtaposition of the green and brown sections. From the southwest, a rampant eagle can be discerned, with the green portion framed by wing forms. The eagle’s importance to Garner derives from his Native American Indian heritage. His great-great-grandfather Sitting Crow was a Blackfoot Sioux chief and Garner is a registered member of the Standing Rock tribe.