Jacob Lawrence was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, widely renowned for his modernist depictions of everyday life as well as epic narratives of African American history and historical figures.
Born in New Jersey, Lawrence moved with his family to Harlem in 1930, where he came into contact with some of the greatest artistic and intellectual minds of his generation. In the previous decade, Harlem had experienced the remarkably creative period known as the Harlem Renaissance, and the neighborhood was still the focal point of African-American culture. Before he was twenty years old, Lawrence had developed a powerful, concise style that expressed all of the vibrancy and pathos of the neighborhood and its occupants. Lawrence became a nationally known figure virtually overnight when his The Migration Series was shown at New York’s Downtown Gallery in 1941. The twenty-four year old artist became the first African-American to be represented by a New York gallery. Fortune magazine published a lengthy article on the series that reproduced twenty-six of series’ sixty panels, and the entire series was purchased jointly by the Museum of Modern Art and the Phillips Collection.
Major traveling exhibitions of Lawrence’s work have been presented in museums across the country, including Jacob Lawrence: American Painter, organized by the Seattle Museum of Art; Jacob Lawrence: The Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman Series of 1938-40, organized by the Hampton University Museum in Virginia; and Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series, organized jointly by the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A major retrospective exhibition Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence originated in 2001 at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC and traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, and the Seattle Art Museum.
Green Art Gallery
Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand – MASP