The Amazing Art of Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, on September 7, 1917. When Lawrence was seven years old, his parents divorced, and placed him and his sibling into foster care until he was thirteen, at which time they moved to New York City. His mother enrolled him in arts and craft class at the Utopia Children’s Center. This was his first exposure to the arts. Even when he dropped out of school at 16, he continued to attend art workshops in Harlem. One course was taught by famous sculptor Augusta Savage, who later secured a scholarship for Lawrence to attend the American Artist School. Harlem became the backdrop and muse for Lawrence’s work. His artwork reflecting both the struggles of African American people during the Great Depression and the creative outlet of African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance. Lawrence’s most famous works included his Migration Series 1940-41. Artwork depicted the journey of African Americans from the south to the north in search of the American Dream. Then in 1943 Lawrence was drafted into the US Coast Guard during his enlistment he produce 48 paintings, which were lost After the war Lawrence continued painting, illustrating several children’s books, he was commissioned to complete various painting for many institutions, including the New York Transit, and the University of Washington. He taught art classes at various universities. Lawrence continued painting all the way until his death. Jacob Lawrence died from lung cancer in 2000 at 82. His work is at various museums and art galleries throughout the world.

When reviewing Jacob Lawrence’s work, I found that he mostly used the same color palettes. A palette featuring reds, blues, white, yellow, and browns. His work is uniquely his and easy to identifiable. I would love to own one of his paintings one day.

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