Medium
Image rights
© 2013 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Based on diligent research and inspired by Harlem Renaissance artists Augusta Savage and Charles Alston, Jacob Lawrence illustrated African American history through colorful narrative paintings. His subjects included series on prominent figures in the struggle for black liberation, such as Harriet Tubman; his “The Great Migration” (1940-41) chronicled the Depression-era flight of African Americans from the impoverished rural south to northern cities. Comprising 60 tempera works executed simultaneously with unifying color schemes and visual motifs, it depicted heart-wrenching everyday scenes. New York Times critic Holland Cotter once described Lawrence’s oeuvre as having a “sinewy moral texture...that is in the business of neither easy uplift nor single-minded protest.” Lawrence adopted his characteristic simple forms and abstract elements from African art, linking that aesthetic tradition to present-day black identity.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2019
Jacob Lawrence: The Life of Toussaint L'OuvertureDC Moore Gallery
Jacob Lawrence: The Life of Toussaint L'OuvertureDC Moore Gallery
2017
Their Own HarlemsThe Studio Museum in Harlem
View all

Soldiers and Students, 1962

Opaque watercolor over graphite on wove paper
22 7/16 × 30 7/16 in
57 × 77.3 cm
Location
Brooklyn
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Medium
Image rights
© 2013 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Based on diligent research and inspired by Harlem Renaissance artists Augusta Savage and Charles Alston, Jacob Lawrence illustrated African American history through colorful narrative paintings. His subjects included series on prominent figures in the struggle for black liberation, such as Harriet Tubman; his “The Great Migration” (1940-41) chronicled the Depression-era flight of African Americans from the impoverished rural south to northern cities. Comprising 60 tempera works executed simultaneously with unifying color schemes and visual motifs, it depicted heart-wrenching everyday scenes. New York Times critic Holland Cotter once described Lawrence’s oeuvre as having a “sinewy moral texture...that is in the business of neither easy uplift nor single-minded protest.” Lawrence adopted his characteristic simple forms and abstract elements from African art, linking that aesthetic tradition to present-day black identity.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties
Other works by Jacob Lawrence
Related works
Related artists