Today’s Birthday: JACOB LAWRENCE (1917)

Jacob Lawrence (1917)

Lawrence was a leading black artist who portrayed African-American life, experience, and history with vivid, stylized realism. He was only in his twenties when his series depicting the migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North thrust him into the national spotlight. His use of somber browns and black for shadows and outlines in an otherwise vibrant palette lends his work a distinctive overtone, as does his flat painting style. Where can one view his last public workMore… Discuss

Virginia Mecklenburg, senior curator, explores the work of Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Lois Mailou Jones, Melvin Edwards, and other artists featured in the exhibition African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond. These artists participated in ongoing dialogues about art, black identity, and individual rights that engaged American society in the twentieth century. Using documentary realism, painterly expressionism, and the postmodern assemblage of found objects, they rewrote American history and its art.

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