Art: Yes, West Virginia, There Is A James Johnson Sweeney

Say "West Virginia" and many people think of moonshining and coal mining, relief checks and bare feet. To erase this doleful public image, the West Virginia Centennial Commission decided to do something real cultural to celebrate the state's 100th anniversary: hold an art contest and give a prize of $1,963 for the painting that would best show what West Virginia is really like.

What West Virginia is really like turned out to be six beat-up boards and the wreck of a screen door frame, with a man and a moon scrawled on them. So thought Joe F. Moss, 30, University of West...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!