Jacob Lawrence: life and works

Jacob Armstead Lawrence (September 7, 1917 – June 9, 2000) was an American painter known for his portrayal of African-American historical subjects and contemporary life. Lawrence referred to his style as “dynamic cubism”, although by his own account the primary shape was not therefore much French art as the shapes and colors of Harlem. He brought the African-American experience to energy using blacks and browns juxtaposed with luminous colors. He with taught and spent 16 years as a professor at the University of Washington.

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Lawrence is accompanied by the best-known twentieth-century African-American painters, known for his modernist illustrations of everyday vigor as capably as narratives of African-American history and historical figures. At the age of 23 he gained national reply with his 60-panel The Migration Series, which depicted the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North. The series was purchased jointly by the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Lawrence’s works are in the surviving collections of numerous museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Northwest Art. His 1947 painting The Builders hangs in the White House.

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