The Lincoln Portraits
Wolfe painted two portraits of President Lincoln in 1962, during the intense activism of the civil rights movement. Both were widely acclaimed in the United States and abroad. The paintings are entitled “Witness - 1962 (The Standing Lincoln)” and “Witness - 1962 (The Seated Lincoln).” In both works, Lincoln is painted at life size. Wolfe said at the time that he wanted these images of Lincoln to be “viewed as a contemporary presence, to stand in our time one-hundred years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation” and to witness white America still denying freedom to black citizens.
Black Voice - Freedom Summer 1964
Like many of Wolfe’s other political paintings, “Black Voice” uses images drawn from contemporary mass media, including images of the Freedom Riders; the funerals of murdered civil rights workers Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney; Marion Anderson; Medgar Evers; police using dogs to control crowds of protesters; and several images of KKK members.