Jacob Lawrence

(About art rather than language.)

On the KQED site on the 28th, this exhibition announcement, “The Strange and Beautiful World of Jacob Lawrence” by Sarah Hotchkiss:

Despite the exhibition’s opening date of April 1, Promised Land: Jacob Lawrence at the Cantor is no joke. An impressive group of nearly 60 works by the 20th-century American painter Jacob Lawrence celebrates a gift from the Kayden Family. With this, the Cantor [Museum at Stanford] is now home to one of the largest museum collections of Lawrence’s work.

A poster for a 1974 exhibition at the Whitney:


On Lawrence, from Wikipedia:

Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 – June 9, 2000) was an African-American painter known for his portrayal of African-American life. Lawrence referred to his style as “dynamic cubism,” though by his own account the primary influence was not so much French art as the shapes and colors of Harlem.

Lawrence is among the best-known 20th-century African-American painters. He was 23 years old when he gained national recognition with his 60-panel Migration Series, painted on cardboard. The series depicted the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North.

From the show: The Last Journey, No. 17 (1967) from the series Harriet and the Promised Land, about the travels of Harriet Tubman:


And The Swearing In (ca. 1977), with a nice story behind it:


From a gifts for social good site:

When describing “The Swearing In,” Jacob Lawrence explained, “Because President Carter said he wanted this event to be a “People’s Inauguration,” my focus was on the people watching. Not the people up front in the privileged seats, but the people in the back, up in the trees, trying to get a good view. These were the people applauding the most. These were the people who were the most important ingredient in the inauguration.”

One Response to “Jacob Lawrence”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    And now at MoMA in New York: “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North”, April 3–September 7, 2015: all 60 panels.

    Along with Lawrence’s series, the exhibition includes other accounts of the Migration from the era, including novels and poems by writers such as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, and Richard Wright; music by Josh White, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday; photographs by Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Gordon Parks, and Robert McNeill; sociological tracts by Carter Woodson, Charles Johnson, Emmett Scott, and Walter White; and paintings by Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, and Charles White.

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