The Baby Jesus, Oh See Him

Camille Billops (American, born in 1933)

Object Place: New York, New York


Overall: 32.7 x 28.9 x 21.6 cm (12 7/8 x 11 3/8 x 8 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Earthenware, slip-decorated, painted, and glazed; mixed media

Not On View


Americas, Contemporary Art



Slab-built cradle form with nude African-American male figure painted on the interior, with his head on the headboard of the cradle. His hands are painted resting on the sides of the cradle, and bound with pink ribbon. A small wooden stick with small dangling stones or pieces of clay, suspended by fine wire from the stick, extends across the cradle and is attached near the man’s hands. The exterior of the cradle is decorated with images of women and various inscriptions. Sides pierced to spell the words “The Baby Jesus” on one side, and “Oh See Him” on the other.


"C. Billops / 11/73 / N.Y.C." signed in paint on underside.


1996, sold by the artist to John Axelrod, Boston; 2011, sold by Axelrod to the MFA. (Accession date: June 22, 2011)

Credit Line

The John Axelrod Collection—Frank B. Bemis Fund, Charles H. Bayley Fund, and The Heritage Fund for a Diverse Collection


Reproduced with permission.