Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000), Harlem Diner, 1938
Water-pressed tempera on paper, laid on board. Promised gift of Elie and Sarah Hirschfeld, Scenes of New York City. © 2021 Jacob Lawrence / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This work captures the despair of African Americans during the Great Depression. Five figures with downcast eyes slump in their seats. Their weariness spreads into the diner itself, where coats hang limply from hooks and the jumbled perspective conveys a world in disarray.
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