Adam and Eve
North America, American, Alabama
36 in. x 24 1/2 in. (91.44 cm x 62.23 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase
Bernice Sims is known for her brightly colored acrylic paintings which depict stories, usually derived from scriptural sources or her own Christian beliefs and experiences. "Adam and Eve" features the tree of knowledge (here shown as a large apple tree on the left), with the figures of Adam and Eve in the middle ground. Satan, in the form of a serpent encircling the tree, is also given special prominence as the agent of the Fall of Man. She departs from a literal Old Testament depiction by including the three crosses (as a reference to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the two thieves) on a hill in the background. In doing so, she conflates the story of man's fall from grace by the original sin of Adam and Eve, with man's salvation through Christ's crucifixion—the primary tenet of the Christian faith.