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