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A charcoal-gray, pointed, tower-like form wrapped with cords or vines rises to our left against a barren desert in this horizontal painting. Light falls from our left onto the sharply pointed tip of the tower. A deep, jagged shadow cast from a formation outside of our view to our left falls across the oatmeal-brown desert floor. Two rounded white forms, perhaps stones, lie near the lower right corner, and cast ink-black shadows on the ground. The horizon comes just over a third of the way up the composition. Along the horizon, two clusters of buildings and low hills are painted with tones of hazy indigo blue and tan. The sky above is ice blue, and a veil-like cloud stretches from the horizon to our left of center up into the right corner. The artist signed and dated the painting in the lower right corner, “Kay Sage 40.”

Kay Sage, A Finger on the Drum, 1940, oil on canvas, Corcoran Collection (Gift of the estate of the artist), 2014.136.92

Community Events

Virtual Studio

A Finger on the Drum: Poetry Inspired by Kay Sage

Virtual Studio

  • Thursday, February 24, 2022
  • 5:30 p.m.
  • Virtual Program

Guided by local teacher and author Tara Campbell

Image, rhythm, and imagination: these are the building blocks we’ll use to create poetry inspired by the work of 20th century painter and poet Kay Sage. Drawing primarily upon two images, A Finger on the Drum and Study for “Third Paragraph”, participants will write a three-part poem imagining a journey through the surreal landscapes of this multifaceted artist.

Use the writing tools or software you prefer for this workshop.

Questions? Send a message to [email protected].