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Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Bushel

Folk and Self-Taught Art

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Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Bushel

Artwork Details


Ned Cartledge
American, 1916–2001




Wood and paint

Accession #



20 3/8 x 23 1/2 x 1 inches


On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway, Gallery 407


Ned Cartledge often said that his wood carvings were the result of provocation rather than inspiration. Here Cartledge was inspired by a passage from the Sermon on the Mount and provoked by a friend’s reluctance to display his artistic talent. Accusing his friend of hiding his light under a bushel, Cartledge inscribed the back of this panel, “Modesty is for those without talent.” As abstract as it is narrative, this work is uncharacteristic of Cartledge in that it conveys its point through visual metaphor rather than text. The sharply rendered basket seems to be lifted up by the light pouring out beneath it.


T. Marshall Hahn Collection