William Christenberry

b. Tuscaloosa, AL, 1936; lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Coleman’s Cafe (I)


mixed media, painted wood, and clay soil
18 3/8 x 25 3/4 x 36 1/2 in. (47 x 65.4 x 92.7 cm)

Gift of Mr. Robert Lehrman


With an affinity for everyday structures and objects, William Christenberry maps the political and social terrain of the American South. Coleman’s Café depicts a small roadside market and luncheonette in rural Alabama. This sculpture documents the vernacular landscape of Hale Country, where Christenberry was born in 1936. Coleman’s Café is painstakingly constructed from photographs Christenberry made of the actual site over many years, and sits on a bed of red Alabama earth.