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The Wedding

A colorful wedding scene with a dark-skinned bride in red and a groom in black at center, their backs to the viewer. A minister cloaked in black stands between them, a dense wall of flowers or perhaps a floral pattern behind him. The group is flanked by two figures and panels of geometric stained glass.
© 2018 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • A colorful wedding scene with a dark-skinned bride in red and a groom in black at center, their backs to the viewer. A minister cloaked in black stands between them, a dense wall of flowers or perhaps a floral pattern behind him. The group is flanked by two figures and panels of geometric stained glass.

Date:

1948

Artist:

Jacob Lawrence
American, 1917–2000

About this artwork

“I paint the things I have experienced,” Jacob Lawrence once said. In The Wedding, Lawrence depicted both the solemnity and the joy of a marriage ceremony and the coming together of families. Positioning the figures with their backs to the viewer, Lawrence’s composition invites us to participate in the couple’s major life event. Although the preacher’s face is only partially defined, he appears to look down with great seriousness as the two contemplate their vows. The large, colorful urns overflowing with flowers signify happiness and may also represent the future prosperity of this union.

Lawrence depicted the histories and events of black Americans—whether through individual compositions such as The Wedding that commemorated the everyday activities of his fellow Harlem residents, or through series of paintings that explored subjects ranging from the Great Migration to the story of Harriet Tubman.

Status

On View, Gallery 263

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Jacob Lawrence

Title

The Wedding

Place

United States (Object made in)

Date

1948

Medium

Egg tempera on hardboard

Inscriptions

78.7 x 88.9 cm (31 x 35 in.)

Dimensions

50.8 × 61 cm (20 × 24 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Mary P. Hines in memory of her mother, Frances W. Pick

Reference Number

1993.258

Copyright

© 2018 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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