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Title page from “Guarded Opinions 7”
Image ©The Barnes Foundation

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Esopus 23 (Spring 2016)
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Guarded Opinions 7

Commentary by Joseph Klimczak Jr. and Fantasia Turner

“My favorite painting here is Christ and the Woman of Samaria by Horace Pippin. It is of Christ sitting outside at a well, and a Samaritan woman has come to get water, and they talk. Though Christ was still the perfect model of compassion, this was the first painting I’d ever seen where Jesus looks like a person of color: the Jesus I’d seen growing up was always white. And look at the other colors in the painting! Jesus is wearing white and bright purple, the sky is these beautiful shades of pink, and the trees are black in the background. I can imagine myself at the well there with my homeboy Jesus.”—Fantasia Turner

In this ongoing series, we ask museum guards—who, after all, spend more time with art than almost anyone—to offer commentary on particular artworks in their institutions. For this installment, two guards from the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia share their takes on works by Horace Pippin and William Glackens.

Joseph Klimczak Jr. is a guard at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Born and raised in North Philadelphia, Fantasia Turner works as a guard at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. She is currently studying psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. 

New York–based Paul VanDeCarr does writing and research for nonprofits and foundations about the arts, media, criminal justice, and storytelling for social change. His blog and podcast on the many forms of storytelling is at InsideStoriesOnline.com.