Produced in New Jersey but raised in nyc ‘s Harlem, Jacob Lawrence was the most broadly acclaimed African American artist of the 20th century. Understood for creating narrative selections such as the Migration Series and War Series, Jacob brought the African American experience to life using blacks and browns juxtaposed with bright colours. Jacob also taught, and spent 15 years as a professor in the University of Washington.
When he was 13, Lawrence joined his mom in Harlem. Lawrence was presented to artwork soon after his coming, when his mother enrolled him in Utopia Children’s Center, which had an after school art program. Lawrence dropped out of school at 16 but took courses in the Harlem Art Workshop with CharlesAlstonand often visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
When Lawrence graduated in 1939, he received financing in the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project. He’d already developed his own style of modernism, and started creating narrative show, painting 30 or more paintings on a single issue. Lawrence finished his best known show, Migration of the Negro or just The Migration Series, in 1941. The show was presented at Edith Halpert’s Downtown Gallery in 1942, making Lawrence the first African American to join the gallery.
In the outbreak of the second world war, Lawrence was drafted to the United States Coast Guard. After being briefly stationed in Florida and Massachusetts, Lawrence was delegated to function as Coast Guard artist aboard a troopship, recording the encounter of war all over the world. Lawrence made 48 paintings in this time around, which happen to be lost. When Lawrence’s duty finished, Lawrence received a Guggenheim Fellowship and painted his War Series. Lawrence was likewise invited by Josef Albers to teach the summertime session at Black Mountain College in North Carolina.
Back in the Big Apple after his stint in the south, Lawrence continued to paint. Lawrence grew depressed, yet, as well as in 1949, he checked himself into Hillside Hospital in Queens, where he remained for 11 months. Himself painted as an inpatient, as well as the work created during this time differs significantly from his other work, with low-key colours as well as individuals who seem stepped down or in misery. After leaving Hillside, Lawrence turned his focus on the theatre. In 1951, Lawrence painted works according to memories of performances in the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Himself also started educating again, first at Pratt Institute and after the New School for Social Research as well as the Art Students League.
Besides instructing, Lawrence spent much of the remainder of his life painting commissions, making limited edition prints to aid fund nonprofits such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Children’s Defense Fund as well as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Lawrence painted until several weeks before he died, on June 9, 2000. She actively supported his work, supplying both help and criticism, and helped him compose captions for a number of his chain.