The Jury

Henry Taylor (1958) The Jury, 2005 Acrylic on cardboard box 7 x 10 x 2 inches The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg 2011.11.10

Against the white shirts, khaki pants, and blank faces of the jury, the foregrounded Black man wearing a bright blue shirt appears in stark contrast. While the white jurors show no facial features, the defendant’s eyes open wide as he turns to face the viewer. Taylor uses this visual dissonance to explore experiences of a biased criminal justice system. The man’s gaze captures the fear someone might feel while standing trial—a fear compounded in this case by the denial of a fair trial by a jury of one’s peers.