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Hermes Trigmegistus and The African Rainbow, 1977

By Amos Ashanti Johnson


Framed Art


Amos Ashanti Johnson, African Rainbow and Hermes Trigmegistus, 1977, Mechanical Hall Gallery. Paul R. Jones Collection. Photo courtesy of University Museums, University of Delaware. © Artist or artist’s estate.
Amos Ashanti Johnson, Hermes Trigmegistus, 1977. Pastel on paper. 47 ½ x 95 ½ in. Paul R. Jones Collection. Photo courtesy of University Museums, University of Delaware. © Artist or artist’s estate.


Mechanical Hall Gallery at the University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware


Pastel on paper


47 ½ in. x 95 ½ in. (120.6 cm x 242.6 cm) and 47 ½ in. x 84 ¾ in. (120.6 cm x 215.3 cm)


Optium Museum Acrylic®

The Challenge

  • To protect two large pastels during exhibition while providing an optimal viewing experience.

The Solution

Optium Museum Acrylic®

Anti-static protection exceeds that of glass
Immediately eliminates static charge.  Makes for safer, easier framing and less cleaning.

Acrylic is half the weight of glass; Ideal for large, heavy projects.

Shatter resistant
Safeguards against injury and damage to artwork and visitors.  This product is ideal for valuable works, high traffic areas, and public event spaces.

Abrasion resistant
A durable hard coat protects against scratches from cleaning and general exposure to the public.

Allows viewers to see the drawing without distracting reflections.

99% UV blocking
Protecting the pastel works from the most damaging light wavelengths, helping prevent fading and degradation.

The Work

Amos Ashanti Johnson (American, born 1950) is a South Carolina graphic artist, painter, and printmaker. He studied at Syracuse University and modeled his art after that of Charles White (American, 1918–1979), a noted African American artist and educator. Johnson assumed the Ashanti name to acknowledge his strong personal association with the Ashanti (or Asante) people of Ghana. His art celebrates African and Black American cultural heritages in its iconography and aesthetics. Johnson’s paintings, pastels and drawings, exhibit meticulous draftsmanship, are dominantly figurative and include commemorative or symbolic portraiture.

Hermes Trigmegistus and African Rainbow, pastels of exceptional size (47 ½ x 95 ½ in. and 47 ½ x 84 ¾ in. respectively), showcase Johnson’s expressive use of Afrocentric iconography and record the artist’s interest in cosmic universals. African Rainbow includes the profile of the artist’s face on the left hand side of the composition. According to Johnson, he completed three pastels of this size, all related; the third (location unknown) is titled Womb of Life. A drawing associated with Hermes Trigmegistus, titled Sister Senufo, is in the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

More Info

  • The Paul R. Jones gift of African American art to the University of Delaware includes numerous works by Amos Ashanti Johnson, inclusive of paintings and works on paper.
  • Read our QuickVue article about these works and the conservation treatments they underwent.
  • Check out the subsequent exhibition the works were in.