Skip Navigation

Sing-Along American History: War and Race

Joyce Kozloff

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

This powerful commentary on the history of war and race in America is from a series of nine mixed-media collages that the artist Joyce Kozloff calls “a kind of personal, quirky history of America.” The current invasion of Iraq was the emotional catalyst for this work, which portrays a trail of geopolitical conflicts. This piece, the fifth in the series, is composed of appropriated imagery, including musical notes and song lyrics taken from 1920s game boards given to the artist by her mother. It depicts laboring slaves as well as Civil War soldiers, languid antebellum women, cotton fields, steamships, trains, churches, and other period structures. Words from slave songs and Bible hymns, and texts about “The War of Independence,” the Mason and Dixon Line, and Gettysburg are dispersed throughout the work.
MEDIUM Mixed media collage
DATES 2004
DIMENSIONS 32 3/4 x 47 5/8 in. (83.2 x 121 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Rudolph DeMasi, by exchange
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Etching, collage, watercolor, pigment print, acrylic, and color pencil on paper
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Joyce Kozloff (American, born 1942). Sing-Along American History: War and Race, 2004. Mixed media collage, 32 3/4 x 47 5/8 in. (83.2 x 121 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Rudolph DeMasi, by exchange, 2006.71. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006.71_PS20.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2006.71_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email and we will assist if we can.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.