The “Open Casket” by Dana Schutz is a painting of a photograph of a fourteen-year-old boy named Emmett Till. In the actual painting, the boy is wearing a suit and he looks like he is lying down on a pillow in a comfortable position. However, the actual photography showed that his face was brutally beat up and he was lying down in open casket. The purpose of Dana Schutz’s open casket was may be to bring out the issue against racism. However, this painting did not really serve its purpose because this painting was too brutal for Emmett and made many people angry. Most audiences thought that this painting was too brutal for Emmett and his mother. Schutz explained that through this painting, she would have connection with Emmett’s mother, as a mother of a child. However, if she wanted to connect with Emmett’s mother, she could have painted Emmett’s mother instead of Emmett. There were also lots of protest going on in Whitney Biennial because of this painting “Open Casket”.


The “Open Casket” is displayed in Whitney Biennial and in my opinion; the museum should not have displayed it. The reason is because when I looked at the actual painting, I was really surprised that the paints were on top of each other and it looked like his face was sculpted. When people know about the painting and look at the sculpted part of the painting, they will think that this painting is really brutal. I thought the position the piece had in the museum gallery was not really appropriate because as I entered the fifth floor of Whitney Biennial, there were many group of students and even elementary students having a class in the museum. For younger students, this painting is not really appropriate having to display in the museum.