Scholar of early Christian sarcophagi; Chair of the Art Department at Barnard College. Lawrence graduated from Byrn Mawr College in art history in 1923. She continued on to graduate school at Harvard, where she worked under the Princeton scholar Charles Rufus Morey who was on exchange for that year. It was Morey who introduced her to early Christian art. In 1924-25 she was appointed assistant at Wellesley. She was awarded a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome for the 1925-27 period.