Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) Tools, 1977 Lithograph 26 × 21 3/4 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Francine Seders Gallery and Gwendolyn Knight, Seattle 2000.5.2

During the last three decades of his life, Jacob Lawrence created many paintings, drawings, and prints around the theme of building and construction. The subjects of these works are construction workers, carpenters, bricklayers, and cabinetmakers working or going about their daily lives. These figures came to symbolize Lawrence’s belief in the possibility of building a better world through hard work, persistence, and a shared sense of responsibility. Here, a builder, surrounded by his tools, is collapsed over a table after a long day of work.