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I Description AIntroduction Jacob Lawrence occupies an unusual position in the history of American art He is an ionic figure one of the great modern painters of the twentieth century a distinction he earned early in his career when he gained widespread recognition for the narrative painting series The Migration of the Negro in 1941 In a century that equated the evolution of modern art with the will toward abstraction Lawrences early success and his sustained visibility are remarkable He has walked a careful line between abstract and figurative art using aesthetic values for social ends His success at balancing such seemingly irreconcilable aspects of art is a fundamental characteristic of his long and distinguished career Dubois11 BSamples of Work This Toussaint LOuverture series number seventeen A description of this composition is Toussaint captured Marmelade held by Vernet 1795 1937-1938 The medium used in this composition was tempera on paper 19 x 11 The original piece resides in the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans It was late in that year chronicled the New York Amsterdam News about Lawrence in 1937 that he began the Haitian series doing his research with the aid of the Schomburg Collection Although he has never been on the island the authenticity of his work was gained from historical texts and novels Powell1 C Brief History of the Artist Jacob Armstead Lawrence was born in 1917 in Atlantic City New Jersey His parents were Jacob and Rosa Lee Lawrence In 1919 his family moves to Easton Pennsylvania where daughter Geraldine is born In 1924 his parents separate Rosa Lee Lawrence moves the children to Philadelphia where another son William is born Dubois25 1Portraits Exhibitions In 1933 Jacob Lawrence won the prize for drawing map illustrations describing the travel of apostle Peter In 1935he exhibited his work in group exhibitions
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