Nari Ward, We the People (black version), 2015, shoelaces, 8 × 27 feet (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art), a Seeing America video
Test your knowledge with a quiz
Congratulations - you have completed Nari Ward.
You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.
Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Which element in Nari Ward’s We the People (black version) symbolizes the diversity of the people living in the United States?
The shoelaces used in the letters
The black curved wall
The large scale of the work
The historical script of the words
Nari Ward takes the words “We the People” in this sculpture from which historical document?
The U.S. Constitution
The Bill of Rights
The Declaration of Independence
The Articles of Confederation
Which statement seems to best summarize the artist’s goals for this work of art?
He encourages us to reflect on the significance of the words “We the People.”
He questions the validity of these words given the historical biases of the authors.
He calls attention to the limitations of these words and the need to update the Constitution.
He critiques these words as having little relevance for contemporary American society.
Which did NOT influence Ward in his creation of this work of art?
His visit to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
His artist residency in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
His background as an immigrant to the U.S.
His interest in creating art for today's audiences
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect.
There are 4 questions to complete.
Shaded items are complete.
You have completed
Your score is
You have not finished your quiz. If you leave this page, your progress will be lost.
Final Score on Quiz
Attempted Questions Correct
Attempted Questions Wrong
Questions Not Attempted
Total Questions on Quiz
Answer Choice(s) Selected
Need more practice!
“We the People” is the introductory line to the Preamble of the Constitution that boldly declared the right of people of the United States to govern themselves. Still, when it was written in 1787, the “people” was narrowly defined and did not necessarily include women, African-Americans, Native Americans, or those who did not own land.
Nari Ward uses a common material, shoelaces, to evoke the many different people who are today brought together in the phrase “We the People.”
By using the draping shoelaces to define the old-fashioned calligraphic script, Ward obscures the words slightly. In this way, he encourages the viewer to pause and perhaps reconsider this familiar text.
Nari Ward’s We The People demonstrates how contemporary art often asks viewers to think more critically about everyday things that we may take for granted. Can you think of another important icon of American culture that has become commonplace and taken for granted, and that should be examined more carefully?
Cite this page as: Dr. Mindy Besaw, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Nari Ward, We the People (black version)," in Smarthistory, June 27, 2018, accessed January 21, 2019, https://smarthistory.org/nari-ward-people/.