The White Framed Door
Title: The White Framed Door
Image size: 27 x 30 inches
Medium: Colored and graphite pencils, acrylic, watercolor and ink.

Original: $3000

The White Framed Door is a portrait of Joe Francis, a Penobscot from Indian Island, in Old Town, Maine.

Large beaded collars and elaborately beaded cuffs were worn by Penobscots as well as other Natives from Maine and the Canadian Maritime Provinces.  The ornamentation on Wabanaki beadwork is of two basic types: the older form incorporated the double-curve motif, an ancient design that has many variations.  Though its original meaning is lost, in some applications it might be a representation of the fiddlehead or ostrich fern that grows abundantly in the Northeast.  As one of the first edible plants to appear in the spring, it is high in vitamin A and C and no doubt had a rejuvenating effect on those who survived the winter on a sparse diet, deficient of ascorbic acid.  As such, the fiddlehead fern would have been considered a healing or sacred plant. 

Other beaded designs incorporated floral patterns, which were also steeped in the mystical worldview of the Northeast woodland people.  In this piece, the nearby hummingbird symbolizes the connection Joe Francis had to the natural world. The beaded bag and root club he displays are two of the many art forms of the Wabanaki people.