Frank Moore

Lullaby II

Not on view



Oil on canvas mounted on composition board, with wood frame

Overall: 66 3/4 × 51 7/8 × 2in. (169.5 × 131.8 × 5.1 cm) Overall (Canvas): 61 × 46in. (154.9 × 116.8 cm)

Accession number

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee

Rights and reproductions
© Gesso Foundation


Painter and AIDS activist Frank Moore created two paintings based on the theme of the lullaby: Lullaby I and Lullaby II. While both are surreal images centered on a crisp, white-linen covered bed whose white sheets become a vast landscape, the former depicts a herd of tiny buffalo amid snowflakes while the latter shows polar bears feeding on fish. Instead of portraying the bed solely as a site of sickness and death—as many artists did during the AIDS crisis—Moore here imbues it with a multiplicity of references, from the innocence and fantasy of childhood to the state of environmental degradation in America. Indeed, the bleak, wintry vision of Lullaby II may reflect Moore’s belief that the AIDS epidemic and the ecological crisis were intimately related. As he stated, “I believe you cannot have healthy people in an unhealthy environment and you can’t have a healthy environment where unhealthy—greedy, exploitative—people predominate.”