Uprooted Stalk



Prentiss Hottel Taylor, American, 1907-1991


Uprooted Stalk




Mat: 16 x 40 5/8 in. (40.6 x 103.1 cm)
Overall: 11 3/4 x 16 in. (29.8 x 40.6 cm)

Object Number



While a broken branch in the foreground and a paratrooper hanging in the air above give a sense of physical space, the landscape here is mainly metaphorical. A fallen soldier sinks into the arms of a shadowy female figure, at once Earth Mother embracing her child and the Virgin Mary cradling her Son, as in a Pieta. The soldier lies between two worlds, at the moment between life and death. Although the rifle in his hands is transforming into a stalk of corn, the soldier has himself been torn living from the earth, and the title of the print refers to him as much as to the weapon in his hands. Using the stalk of corn, Taylor overturns the idea of bringing forth bounty from the earth into an image of violently sundering life from it. At the same time, the agricultural metaphor and the welcoming embrace of the Earth may be meant to provide a hope for future peace. Taylor was a well-known artist who enjoyed a long working relationship with the poet Langston Hughes, illustrating several of his books.
Signed LR "Prentiss Taylor July 1943"

Credit Line

Gift of Carl and Marian Mullis


The American Experience, 1920-1950: Prints and Drawings from the Collection of Carl W. Mullis III, Michael C. Carlos Museum, May 17 - September 17, 1997|
Cultivating America: Visions of the Landscape in Twentieth-Century Prints, Michael C. Carlos Museum, March 8 - June 29, 2008


© Estate of Prentiss Hottel Taylor. Image courtesy of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



Prentiss Hottel Taylor, American, 1907-1991, “Uprooted Stalk,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed December 10, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7589.

Social Bookmarking


Copy the code below into your web page