This painting and relief depicts the racially motivated lynchings in March 1904 at St. Charles in Arkansas County. The Arkansas Gazette confirmed 13 African American men were lynched in this incident, signified by the 13 holes riddled horizontally across the canvas. Their names were: Abe Bailey, Mack Baldwin, Will Baldwin, Garrett Flood, Randall Flood, Aaron Hinton, Will Madison, Charley Smith, Jim Smith, Perry Carter, Kellis Johnson, and Henry and Walker Griffin.
The repression ensued as a white mob responded to the temporary escape of Walker Griffin from custody, arrested for an alleged physical assault on a local white man, Jim Searcy. They rampaged through the area terrorizing local Black families. Six of their victims were shot execution style, the other six died by either hanging or shooting.
An emaciated relief of a male figure appears shot multiple times with a sign denoting the year of the event. The background is painted half blue and white with the other half surrounding the male figure resembling a burnt orange twinge. Arkansas artist Vivian L. Cox created this piece on a commission from the Delta Cultural Center curator Drew Ulrich as a physical memento of this horrific incident in state history of which no known physical artifacts or photos exist.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The Delta Cultural Center opened in 1990 with a single property, The Depot, to serve as a museum. Today the Delta Cultural Center is made up of a complex of historic buildings, new structures and landscaped parks. Each site allows the center to expand its mission and provide interpretive and educational experiences. The center’s mission is to research, document, collect, interpret and present the heritage of the people of the Arkansas Delta. Admission is free and the center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.