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Dreams No. 2

1965 Jacob Lawrence Born: Atlantic City, New Jersey 1917 Died: Seattle, Washington 2000 tempera on fiberboard 35 3/4 x 24 in. (90.8 x 61.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation 1986.6.95 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 44A

Luce Center Quote

"Composing is most important. I seem to gravitate to geometric forms. It is like opening a book of geometry; I may not understand the formula but I love the beauty of line." Lawrence, in Rago, "A Welcome from Jacob Lawrence," School Arts, 1963

Luce Center Label

Jacob Lawrence was inspired by the women in his Harlem neighborhood. Like his own mother, they worked hard to support their families and survived on very little money. In this painting a girl rests on a chair in front of two large windows. In one, a tall, elegant lady stands with a bouquet of flowers and in the other, a bride and groom dance and throw confetti. Windows and doorways were focal points of New York's brownstone neighborhoods, creating a link to life on the streets outside. But the bride and groom are clearly in a landscape beyond the city, and in this sense the windows have become screens onto which the young woman projects her fantasies.


Architecture Interior - detail - window

Ceremony - wedding

Ethnic - African-American


Figure female - full length

Object - furniture - chair

State of being - phenomenon - dream


paint - tempera