Sampler (Original Man). 2001. Hand embroidery on linen. 32 x 14 in. (81.3 x 35.6 cm)

Barnett Newman

Elaine Reichek


Original man, what was he? Undoubtedly
the first man was an artist. The writer
of Genesis set Adam up in a Garden of
Eden close to the Tree of Knowledge.
Adam, by eating from the Tree of
Knowledge, sought the creative life to
be, like God, “a creator of worlds.” The
artists are the first men.


— Barnett Newman, 1947

And when the woman saw that the tree
was good for food, and that it was
pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be
desired to make one wise, she took of
the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave
also unto her husband with her; and he
did eat.


The writer of Genesis