Arts Everyday Living: A Portrait of Elegance and Beauty—Woman with a Lute

Thomas Wilmer Dewing, Woman with a Lute, 1886, oil on wood, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Thou art my lute, by thee I sing,

My heart is attuned to thee.

Thou settlest all my words a wing,

And meltest me to melody.

Paul Laurence Dunbar*

Tonalist painter Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938) was a favorite artist of Charles Lang Freer whose museum of the same name is part of the Smithsonian Institution, known for both its American and Asian collection. African-American author Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), lived a short but artistically productive life, creating his first verses when still a child.

*Thou Art My Lute

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