The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 25, 2017

Creative Therapy, 1949

casein over graphite, Sheet: 56 x 76.4 cm (22 x 30 1/16 in). Delia E. Holden Fund 1994.2

Despite his success, Lawrence's intensifying anxieties and self-doubt led to his voluntary confinement to a psychiatric facility in 1949. Nevertheless, he produced 11 paintings including Creative Therapy, executed on paper with casein, a liquid medium in which the pigment binder is made from acidified skim milk. Experimenting with Cubist-derived ideas, he developed flat, shallow planes of space punctured by the precipitously tipped table in the foreground, shifting the point of view. As Lawrence struggled with finding a new direction for his own work, he presented a variety of modernist styles in the patients' paintings and even transformed their palettes into gaily colored abstract designs. The artist included himself in the scene, but he hides behind his picture, which is also not visible.

signed, lower right, in black casein: Jacob Lawrence / 49; verso, by artist, center, in graphite: "Creative Therapy" / Hillside Hospital 1949

New York 1950, no. 4; cma 1998.
Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; 4/19/98 - 7/12/98. "American Drawings from the Permanent Collection."
The Cleveland Museum of Art (8/27/00 - 10/17/00); NY, NY: The Pierpont Morgan Library (5/24/01- 8/19/01); Museum of Fine Arts Houston (10/14/01 - 1/6/02); "Master Drawings from The Cleveland Museum of Art", exh. cat. no. 114, pp. 268-269; p. 298.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (10/2/2002 - 1/3/2003), "Over the Line: The Art of Jacob Lawrence."
MOCA Cleveland (6/9/2006 - 8/20/2006): "The Persistence of Geometry: Form, Content and Culture in the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art", no. 87, p. 121, color repr. p. 27.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (1/26/2014 - 5/18/2014); "Our Stories: African American Prints and Drawings"

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Library materials about Jacob Lawrence (23)

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