Lullaby for Dreamland: The Dreamland Cafe in Lawnside

This exhibition documents life at the Dreamland Café through a series of photographs that belonged to its owner. This jazz club was located in Lawnside, the first incorporated African-American town north of the Mason-Dixon line. Lawnside, in Camden County, has also long been a cultural center for New Jersey’s black community.

The Dreamland Café offered food, drink, and music between 1930 and 1980. Many famous musicians played there, including Ella Fitzgerald, Erskine Hawkins, and Sarah Vaughn. Photographs in the exhibit, dating mostly to the 1940s, include shots of performances, audience members, and publicity photos of musicians. These provide a unique glimpse into African American middle-class life in South Jersey during this period.

The exhibition runs from February 1, 2005 through August 2005.

Lullaby for Dreamland was curated by Stephen D. Winick for the Delaware Valley Folklife Center.

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