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The Art Of Jacob Lawrence And The Harlem Renaissance

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Jacob Lawrence Jacob Lawrence's was born in 1917 and was an acclaimed African-American artist known for his detailed works that included the Migration Series and the War Series (Duggleby 7). His style consisted of water-based paintings portraying African-Americans life experiences in blacks and browns mixed with many bright and bold colors. Lawrence’s inspirations were based on Black Aesthetics and lives of black historical figures. The painting The Library was created in 1969. The library in the painting is described as the 135th street library. This library has been renamed as the Schomburg Center for Research in black culture. The library depicted was the first library having a collection of African-American history and literature.…show more content…
The elements of art that Lawrence used in The Library focused on strong lines, shape, and bold colors. The tables, chairs and bookshelves all have straight lines that show off the lines of the books placed sporadically around. The shapes of the people are in strong contrast to the straight lines of the library and emphasize movement of everyone. The colors are muted, maybe to represent the quietness of a library. The principles of design that Lawrence used were contrast, unity and balance. He played up the contrast of objects and people and of people versus people. Even with the contrast of people versus people, he could bring unity by showing a common interest. By creating this unity, he gave balance to the painting by placing objects and people evenly throughout the painting. Harlem during the 1920s was filled entirely of blacks and the area continued growing with incoming migrants throughout the 1930s. The Universal Negro Improvement Association, which focused on religion and black unity, had assemblies regularly. These assemblies brought more blacks into the area. With an increase in people moving into Harlem, the housing situation was poor and densely populated. This caused both positive and negative influences. Negative influences revolved around the expanding population leading some towards poverty, poor neighborhood control, crime, and little emphasis education. Lawrence felt that the system
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