Dreams No. 2

  • Jacob Lawrence, Dreams No. 2, 1965, tempera on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.95

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.

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
Dreams No. 2
Not on view
35 3424 in. (90.861.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

Mediums Description
tempera on fiberboard
  • Figure female – full length
  • State of being – phenomenon – dream
  • Fantasy
  • Object – furniture – chair
  • Architecture Interior – detail – window
  • African-American
  • African American
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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