Object Image

In a show of American ingenuity, Mike Wilkins utilized a collection of vanity license plates to phonetically spell out the preamble to the US Constitution in abbreviated script. All fifty states and the District of Columbia are represented in alphabetical order. Though the plates rarely make sense on their own, together they re-create one of the greatest documents in American history. This work represents the meaning of the phrase "the United States" with a fun twist.

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide. Nashville, TN: Beckon Books, 2015.

Credit: Gift of Nissan Motor Corporation in U.S.A.

1987
Painted metal on vinyl and wood
243.8 x 243.8cm
1988.39
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

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