The Anacostia Community Museum will be closed from January 8, 2024-March 22, 2024. We will reopen on Saturday, March 23, 2024 with our next exhibition, A Bold and Beautiful Vision: A Century of Black Arts Education in Washington, DC,1900-2000. We hope you will join us! 


Object Details

James Lesesne Wells
mid 20th Century
oil on canvas
Frame: 22 3/16 × 26 1/4 × 1 5/16 in. (56.4 × 66.6 × 3.4 cm)
Cite As
Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Dr. Charles Warfield and Mrs. Savanna Clark)
Artist James Lesesne Wells taught art at Howard University for nearly forty years, his career spanning the Great Depression, World War II, and the civil rights movement. Best known for his paintings and innovative prints, Wells’s work often focused on the experiences of African Americans and workers of all ethnic identities. In this small village scene, Wells depicts three women walking down a dirt road towards a row of houses. Like his prints, this work features strong lines and bold geometric shapes. Notice the roughly rectangular road, lawns, and waterway, as well as the bold delineation of the structures and trees in the distance. Two boats with red sails hint at the town’s reliance on fishing or trade, suggesting a narrative for the women’s travels.
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Anacostia Community Museum
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