Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Image of Now You Cookin' with Gas 12861


Betye Saar (Los Angeles, California, 1926 - )


Now You Cookin' with Gas

Creation Date



late 20th century


15 3/8 in. x 11 1/2 in. (39.05 cm x 29.21 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, United States

Medium and Support

mixed media collage on paper

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, with funds donated in memory of Shelendra V. Wilson, with assistance from the Barbara Cooney Porter Fund


This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

Accession Number

Betye Saar is best known for her assemblages, often bringing together found objects that resonate with history, memory, and identity. These techniques have also been applied to her collage making, such as the silk-screened collages that correspond with short stories by author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. The short stories that Betye Saar selected to illustrate often incorporate women’s experiences and their relationships to men. In the collage Now You Cookin’ With Gas, (right) Saar illustrates the last story in the book and depicts the encounter on the streets of Harlem. Two slick-talking, zoot-suited men are attempting to attract the attention of a young woman. Saar’s choice to position the woman just outside the frame of the collage asserts the woman’s self-possession and independence as she boldly rejects the men’s advances.

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