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Jacob Lawrence

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Jacob Lawrence

American, (1917–2000)
College Art Association classes, Harlem Art Workshop, American Artists School
Black Mountain College 1946 Summer Art Institute, Pratt Institute, Brandeis University, New School for Social Reasearch

Jacob Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. By 1930 his family settled in New York City.
In 1938 he had his first solo exhibition in the Harlem YMCA, joined the WPA Federal Art Project easel section, and started the Frederick Douglas Series.
He continued to create his paintings in series, investigating subjects such as John Brown and Harlem.
In 1943 he moved to Brooklyn, and was inducted into the United States Coast Guard. After a one man show in 1944, his ""Migration of the Negro"" Series was circulated nationally by the Museum of Modern Art. He was discharged from the Coast Guard in 1945, and in 1946 taught summer school at Black Mountain College.
His "John Brown" series was circulated nationally by the American Federation of Arts. Lawrence experienced psychological problems in 1949 and 1950, and was admitted to the Hillside Hospital, where he began the Hospital Series. His work was exhibited in the Soviet Union in 1959 as part of a cultural exchange sponsored by the United States State Department. He designed a poster for the Olympic Games in Munich.
In 1974 the Whitney Museum of American Art organized another retrospective of his work. He was commissioned to paint murals for the Kingdome Stadium in Seattle, Howard University, and the University of Washington. He was invited to the White House by President Carter to celebrate ten black artists in 1980. Lawrence won many awards and prizes throughout his life including second prize in the American Negro Exposition in 1940. a first prize in watercolor from the Brooklyn Society of Artists in 1948, an award and a grant from the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1953, an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Pratt in 1972, and the Washington State Governor's Arts Award in 1984. In 1954 he was elected secretary for the Artists Equity Association of New York and held that position for two years. Lawrence was President of the Artists Equity Association in 1957. Lawrence's work is in many public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, the Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

(Source: under review)

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