Jacob Lawrence – BLACK ART IN AMERICA™

Little Moments The place Data Meets Artwork


In July 1949, a depressed 32-year-old African American male voluntarily entered Hillside Hospital in Queens, New York to obtain remedy. A half-century later, in April 2000, that very same man defined his post-World Conflict II hospital go to in a tape-recorded interview with Jackson Frost of The Phillips Assortment:

I feel I used to be having issues like lots of the former servicemen had popping out of the service. I assume there’s possibly confusion, and also you need to get issues straight. You understand this shall be an excellent expertise to have, this hospital expertise… Happily they’d locations like this the place you could possibly go for assist.”

The depressed man’s title? Jacob Lawrence.

Regardless of being properly on his solution to changing into essentially the most extensively acclaimed African American artist of the twentieth century, Lawrence was fighting a postwar trauma that the hospital supplied him the time and house to handle. On this house, his artwork turned his remedy as he accomplished the “Hospital Sequence” whereas at Hillside earlier than regaining his perspective and persevering with his historic profession.

Born in Atlantic Metropolis, New Jersey in 1917, Lawrence’s mother and father separated when he was seven, and his mom moved her youngsters to Harlem when he was twelve. There, the intense teen frolicked at an afterschool program in arts and crafts run by painter Charles Alston, who instantly acknowledged Lawrence’s inventive skills. After dropping out of highschool earlier than his junior 12 months to work odd jobs and assist his struggling household, Lawrence joined up with the Harlem Group Artwork Middle below sculptor Augusta Savage and commenced portray native city life. About the identical time, he was mentored by a Harlem resident often known as “Professor Seifert” who inspired Lawrence to go to the close by Schomburg Library and research every little thing he might on African and African American tradition.

The younger painter did, and the outcomes, over time, had been each historic and prolific. Lawrence mixed his rising data together with his unparalleled inventive items to supply quite a few collection of legendary works impressed by the lives of Toussaint L’Ouverture, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and John Brown, together with such topics as Conflict, The South, the Historical past of the American Folks, and, maybe his best-known collection, The Migration of the Negro.

By 1950, after being stationed abroad with the U.S. Coast Guard throughout World Conflict II and being handled for melancholy at Hillside, Lawrence was properly acknowledged as essentially the most celebrated African American painter within the nation. Within the Nineteen Sixties and 70s, he traveled to Africa and lived, for a time, in Nigeria whereas additionally educating at a number of universities. Lawrence continued to color, train, and influence the artwork world up till his loss of life in June 2000.

In 2015, the SCAD Museum of Artwork in Savannah, GA displayed related prints from Lawrence for the favored exhibit, “Historical past, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence.”


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Stephanie Robinson, Esq. is a Lecturer on Legislation at Harvard Legislation Faculty, a nationwide media determine, writer, former Chief Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and former President and CEO of The Jamestown Undertaking, a nationwide suppose tank specializing in democracy. Ms. Robinson hosted her personal nationwide radio present, Roundtable with Stephanie Robinson, a preferred weekly 30-minute, talk-radio program targeted on tradition, politics, and relationships that aired on TSN. For over half a decade, Ms. Robinson was Political and Social Commentator for the Tom Joyner Morning Present the place she spoke to between 9 and 10 million folks weekly, providing her perspective on the day’s most urgent social and political points.

Robinson is co-author of Accountable: Making America as Good as Its Promise, (Atria Books, 2009). She is a nationally acknowledged skilled on points regarding social coverage, ladies, race, household, and electoral politics. She was featured as one of many 30 Younger Leaders of the Future in Ebony Journal and was profiled within the e book As I Am: Younger African American Girls in a Vital Age, by Julian Okwu. Robinson is a frequent speaker expressing her views in numerous media shops together with the Related Press, The Washington Put up, C-Span, Fox Information, NewsOne and NPR.

Stephanie was a Member of President Clinton’s first Mission to Africa relating to youngsters orphaned by AIDS. Robinson, a magna cum laude graduate of the College of Maryland and the Harvard Legislation Faculty, is a local of Steubenville, Ohio. She lives in Massachusetts together with her husband and two sons.

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