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Jacob Lawrence : An African American Painter Essay

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Jacob Lawrence was an African American painter, who was known for his portraits of the African American life. He was best known for his series titled, the Migration. Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 7th of 1917. After his parents separated, Lawrence and his younger siblings were put into the foster care system until his mother could support her children in New York. His education into the world of art was not only formal, but informal as well. It was formal because he learned from after-school community workshops at Utopia House and later at the Harlem Art Workshop. However, it was informal because he could observe the rhythms and activity of the streets of Harlem. Not only was he a painter but he was active as a teacher, in contrast Lawrence was active as both a painter and art educator. In 1946, he began teaching at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and would go on to teach at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and the New School for Social Research in New York. In 1971, Lawrence became a professor of painting at the University of Washington in Seattle. “Later on in his career, he was also known for his serigraphs (silkscreens), many of them versions of series of paintings completed in earlier years, as well as for his book illustrations. Lawrence was still drawing and painting in preparation for still another series of works when he died in Seattle in 2000.” (Capozzola) In 1974, Lawrence created this work of art.
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