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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.

Builders No. 3

Artist: Jacob Lawrence (1917 - 2000)
Date: 1974
30 x 22 1/8 in. (76.2 x 56.2 cm)
Framed: 38 1/2 × 31 1/4 × 1 1/2 in.
Medium: Screen print on paper
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2010.53
Inscriptions: recto, l.l., in pencil: 43/150 recto, l.c., in pencil: Builders No. 3
Signed: l.r., in pencil: Jacob Lawrence - 1974
Not on View
DescriptionPublished by Northside Center for Child Development, Bronx, NY
Accession Number: 2010.53
Provenance(Swann Galleries, New York, NY), October 7, 2010, lot 94, illustrated; purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2010
Label TextCreated in the 1970s, Builders No. 3 draws on prints made during the Great Depression depicting organized labor. Those images, created in the 1930s, celebrated American values of grit and teamwork to showcase a powerful nation. Tapping into such ideas, Jacob Lawrence inserts African Americans into these iconic American roles.

Builders always fascinated Lawrence. As a child he loved to watch them at work, and as an adult he collected tools. To Lawrence, making art held a similar importance: “the hand itself is a beautiful tool,” he once proclaimed.