Thornton Dial, Sr., Crossing Waters

Thornton Dial’s unique style is defined by his transformation of found objects, such as wood, fencing and cloth, into captivating narratives. At 8 x 14 feet, Crossing Waters is the largest single work he ever created. Dial uses his signature technique to memorialize the perilous journey that millions of Africans, including his own ancestors, were forced to make during the transatlantic slave trade. A masterpiece for its sheer scale and the interpretation of its subject matter. Learn more about this powerful masterpiece and its inspiring artist with Rand Suffolk, Director of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Cite this page as: Bank of America, "Thornton Dial, Sr., Crossing Waters," in Smarthistory, February 10, 2022, accessed October 5, 2022,