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    Artist Name:

    Jacob Lawrence

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    American, 1917 – 2000






    Tempera on panel


    18 1/4 x 24 1/2 inches

    Credit Line:

    Purchase with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and Edith G. & Philip A. Rhodes

    Accession Number:



    © 2011 Jacob and Gwen Knight Lawrence Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

    Currently Not on View
    Marionettes is an unusual subject for Jacob Lawrence, an artist who typically took his themes from African American history and the struggle for civil rights in America. Part of a group of works completed in 1952, this painting focuses on the topic of performance and theatrical illusion—a subject in which role-playing and the manipulation of individuals by others are essential underlying themes. One of Lawrence’s more abstract works, Marionettes reflects the influence of Cubism’s flat angularity as well as the geometric simplifications of African art, as seen in the mask-like faces of the puppets.

    Reproduction of digital images, including downloading, is governed by copyright laws and international conventions. Please contact the Images and Rights Coordinator for information concerning permissions or to request digital photography of works in the High's collection.

    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.

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