Thumbnail-size images of copyrighted artworks are displayed under fair use, in accordance with guidelines recommended by the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts, published by the College Art Association in February 2015.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

John Wilson (American, 1922–2015), Printed by James Stroud (American, born in 1958)


Sheet: 91.4 x 76.2 cm (36 x 30 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Soft and hard ground etching with spit bite aquatint, scraping, and burnishing, this impression drawn upon with charcoal and abraded

Not On View


Americas, Contemporary Art, Prints and Drawings



Spit bite aquatint added in this state, and this impression drawn upon with charcoal and abraded

After printing this impression, Wilson made a number of alterations to the sheet, adding charcoal around the neck and scratching into the paper to achieve highlights in the chest, forehead and temple—allowing him to visualize the changes he would need to make in the copper plate. The result is not just a step towards the final product, but an extraordinarily beautiful work in its own right.


Lower right in graphite pencil: Wilson 02
Lower right in graphite pencil: 9A


Blindstamped at lower left -- chop of Jim Stroud


Center Street Studio (Milton, MA); from whom purchased by MFA, 14 December 2005.

Credit Line

Lee M. Friedman Fund and Living New England Artists Purchase Fund, created by The Stephen and Sybil Stone Foundation


© VAGA, New York, NY