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Jacob Lawrence And The Migration of the Negro What makes Jacob Lawrences artwork powerful is that it is a voice of Black people and offers a complete view of the African American experience It goes without saying that Mr Lawrence presents the lives of his people through highly skilled paintings and artistry yet he is not only a painter Because of the material and manner in which Jacob Lawrence paints he is an activist storyteller and philosopher The images in just one of his paintings dare to say what most people are afraid to acknowledge generate flashbacks and the emotions that accompany flashbacks and make one dissect and investigate their convictions Jacob Lawrence was the firs African American artist to receive sustained support from mainstream art museums Even before he was 21 Mr Lawrence had made a name for himself as an artist who would reveal and declare the importance of the African American Experience In 1939 his series of panels of Haitian general Toussaint LOverture was shown in an exhibit of African-American artists so-sponsored by the Harmon Foundation and he Baltimore Museum of Art Lewis pg 129 Lawrences narrative series about the dynamic abolitionist Frederick Douglass and angelic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman soon followed the panels of LOverture Lewis pg 130 These biographical compositions were celebrated Mr Lawrence provided work that people wanted to see and ideas that people were not familiar with Because his art was accepted he was able to work in Harlem where he met Claude McKay Countee Cullen and other artists that fueled the Harlem Renaissance Lewis pg 130 But the biographical compositions were just the beginning of Lawrences career as a phenomenal painter In 1941 at the age of 24 Jacob Lawrence created the Migration of the Negro A series of works that he is most widely known for The Migration of the Negro is an epic narrative series of sixty paintings that he completed in 1941 Nesbett
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