King Mission, 2019
14 x 16 inches
Proceeds benefit The Bowery Mission, New York
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King Mission is a framed version of a piece titled Take My Hand. Nari Ward created Take My Hand (2019) for his New Museum exhibition after discovering a portrait plaque of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. outside a public school near his studio in Harlem. The title derives from the traditional gospel song "Take My Hand, Precious Lord," written by Reverend Thomas A. Dorsey in 1932. The song, a personal favorite of Dr. King, was performed by his friend, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, at the public funeral service following his assassination in 1968. (Notably, the Harlem school where Ward found the plaque is P.S. 123 Mahalia Jackson.) In the original installation at the New Museum, several clay replicas of the plaque are accompanied by an instrumental version of the song.
All proceeds from the sales of these unique works will benefit the Bowery Mission, which has served New York City's homeless population since 1879. Buyers will be asked to sign an agreement stating they will donate profits from any resale of the work to the Bowery Mission.