For Zombie Jamboree, Morrison drew on a personal lexicon of myths and images. Both sacred and secular, it derives simultaneously from the memory of the death of a childhood friend and the artist’s encounter with Christianity and vodun, the religion traditional to his native Jamaica. The large central figures are fantastical animals—a spotted hyena-like creature with bared teeth that sparks an impression of evil and greed confronts a protective horse while a hissing snake, the Christian symbol of sin, hovers above. Dotted around this improbable cast of characters are Christian crosses, dancing skeletons, and two black figures, one wearing a mask the other with arms raised, suggesting African rituals.


  • Title: Zombie Jamboree
  • Creator: Keith Morrison
  • Date Created: 1988
  • Physical Dimensions: 62 x 69 3/16 in. (157.5 x 175.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Catherine Walden Myer Fund and the Director's Discretionary Fund
  • Artist: Born Linstead, Jamaica 1942
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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