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The Visitors, 1959

Jacob Lawrence

Dallas Museum of Art

Growing up in Harlem during its fabled Renaissance, Jacob Lawrence came of age surrounded by cultural richness of this vibrant African American community. He generally worked in matte gouache or tempera paint, blending the playful geometries of cubism with the look of collage. Here we see a family entertaining visitors in the living room of a small apartment, while others go about their business in the adjacent rooms. Facades of nearby apartment buildings, glimpsed through windows, allude to the setting for this quiet moment and suggest the role of this informal sociability in sustaining the community.

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