Dreams No. 2

Media - 1986.6.95 - SAAM-1986.6.95_2 - 129855
Copied Jacob Lawrence, Dreams No. 2, 1965, tempera on fiberboard, 35 3424 in. (90.861.0 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.95

Artwork Details

Dreams No. 2
Not on view
35 3424 in. (90.861.0 cm.)
lower right in tempera: Jacob Lawrence 65
Credit Line
Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation
Mediums Description
tempera on fiberboard
  • Group
  • Ceremony — wedding
  • Fantasy
  • African American
  • Figure female — full length
  • State of being — phenomenon — dream
  • Object — furniture — chair
  • Architecture Interior — detail — window
Object Number

Artwork Description

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.

Luce Object 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


Media - 1986.6.100 - SAAM-1986.6.100_2 - 135134
Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Sara Roby Foundation Collection
October 20, 2018November 28, 2018
This exhibition presents some of the most treasured paintings and sculpture from SAAM’s permanent collection, including artworks by Will Barnet, Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Edward Hopper, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence, George Tooker, among others.