top of page

"The Lottery"


Assemblage in box: closed dimensions - 16.75" deep, 24" length, 4.5" high: open dimensions 18" deep, 19" high, 24" length.

Mixed Media Assemblage: Hand made wooden box, plexiglass, stones, story strips, hand made book bundles, found objects, photos, antique publications, barn wood, paper, glue, display pins, book board, foam core.



This assemblage is an invented "Museum Exhibit" that represents the troubled history of the small, fictional village from Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery."  The dates of objects found by our fictional archeologists are between 1854 and 1944.


In the story, each year on the 27th of June, one citizen of this village is chosen via the lottery to be stoned to death by the other villagers. The curator of this exhibit wants to remind us of those lost and the brutality of history, in much the same way as other museums meant as memorials of violent acts.

Shirley Jackson's  "The Lottery" was published in 1948.  Letters from readers sent to the New Yorker at the time, were supposedly shocking to Ms. Jackson. Many wanted to know if this was happening in America.  When I first read this I thought, "How could anyone believe this was real?"  In hindsight, I realize they had reason to believe it.  They had just come out of WWII, the Holocaust, millions dead. Even today, there are societies that stone people to death, so why wouldn't readers in 1948 believe "the lottery" was real?  The worst horror is that which happens every day, right here before us. I think Jackson knew this as well; that we live in an eternally violent world of our own making.

The actual found objects in this assemblage have been gathered by the artist from real places and used to construct the fictional world of the story.  The plate, china, and Coles air tight object, are from a ghost town in northern Arizona; the stones, leaves, and cloth from the artist's yard, and disposed barn wood from Catalina Regional Park.  The periodicals are from a store in Tennessee and the stamps are from the Postal History Museum.  The photographs are the artist's own from her family collection. The book bundles are made by the artist. The viewer should also take note of the stones - each has been wrapped with quotes taken from the story itself so we have an idea, in the town's own words, as to what occurred there. Each display is numbered.


bottom of page