John Outterbridge Broken Dance, Ethnic Heritage Series c. 1978-82

  • Not on view

From scavenged metals and rags, Outterbridge constructed a “dancer” with truncated, or “broken,” appendages that sits, splayed, atop a box of ammunition retrofitted with an antenna so that it looks like a radio. The materials he used to make this work began as refuse—discarded objects picked up off the streets of his South Central Los Angeles neighborhood. For Outterbridge, assemblage provided a direct means of becoming involved with his environment. As he has explained, “The work engaged part of the experience of the reinvention of things.”

Gallery label from Take an Object, 2014
Stainless steel, wood, leather, sewn cloth, and ammunition box
34 x 29 1/4 x 33" (86.4 x 74.3 x 83.8 cm)
Gift of Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin
Object number
© John Outterbridge. Courtesy of the artist.
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].