Titus Kaphar

The Jerome Project

October 13, 2022 - January 16, 2023
Fenway Gallery

In 2011, artist Titus Kaphar (b. 1976, US) was coming to terms with the personal history of his estranged father Jerome. His search for information led to his discovery of prison records and mugshots of ninety-seven men sharing his father’s first and last name. The Jerome Project is a series of portraits Kaphar painted mostly between 2014-2015 that mark the presence of these men and interrogates the absence of incarcerated individuals from the U.S. national narrative. Drawing on his knowledge of Renaissance and Byzantine devotional paintings, these individual portraits depict their faces against a background of gold-leaf. Their faces are covered in part by tar, the height of which reflects the time and impact of incarceration. Kaphar’s art seeks to reveal self-evident truths about our society and challenge us to ponder whose lived experiences we consider, whose we forget, and whose we erase.

Additional works by the artist are featured in the exhibition Metal of Honor: Gold from Simone Martini to Contemporary Art.

Header Image: Titus Kaphar (b. 1976, US), Jerome LVII, 2015. Oil, gold leaf and tar on wood panel. 10 x 7 x 1 in. (25.4 x 17.8 x 2.5 cm). © Titus Kaphar. Photo: Christopher Gardner. Courtesy the artist and the Burger Collection, Hong Kong..


Titus Kaphar (b. 1976, US) makes paintings, sculptures, and installations that examine the history of representation by transforming styles and mediums with formal innovations to emphasize the physicality and dimensionality of the canvas, panel, and materials themselves. Kaphar lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut, where he established the arts residency program NXTHVN in 2017. He received an MFA from Yale University and was the distinguished recipient of a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship, as well as numerous other prizes and awards.

Explore our Calendar to learn more

This fall, join us for a suite of programs exploring these artists’ techniques, the history of gold mining and its use as an artists’ medium, incarceration and creativity, and more. Details coming soon!



Metal of Honor: Gold from Simone Martini to Contemporary Art

Hostetter Gallery | October 13, 2022 - January 16, 2023

Stacy Lynn Waddell: Home House

Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade | October 5, 2022 - February 7, 2023

Titus Kaphar: The Jerome Project is supported by the Abrams Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Wagner Foundation, the Robert Lehman Foundation, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Media Partner: The Boston Globe

The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which is supported by the state of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.