Skip to main content

Jacob Lawrence

Arnold A. Newman, 3 Mar 1918 - 6 Jun 2006
Jacob A. Lawrence, 7 Sep 1917 - 9 Jun 2000
1959 (printed later)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 32.3 × 25.7cm (12 11/16 × 10 1/8")
Sheet: 35.4 × 27.7cm (13 15/16 × 10 7/8")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6cm (22 × 16")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Arnold Newman
Restrictions & Rights
© Arnold Newman
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Atlantic City, New Jersey
During his lifetime, Jacob Lawrence achieved a level of recognition previously unequaled by an African American artist. In 1941 he exhibited a series of sixty paintings, originally entitled The Migration of the Negro, at Edith Halpert’s prestigious Downtown Gallery in New York City. With the assistance of his future wife, artist Gwendolyn Knight, Lawrence developed a narrative that told the complex history of how and why millions of African Americans moved from the South to the North between the two world wars. Paired with explanatory captions, the paintings attracted wide notice and solidified Lawrence’s reputation for creating multi-picture stories about episodes and individuals in African American history, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and John Brown. In this portrait Lawrence poses in his studio with The Visitors, now in the collection of the Dallas Museum of Art.
Nacido en Atlantic City, New Jersey
Jacob Lawrence alcanzó en vida un nivel de popularidad nunca antes visto para un artista afroamericano. En 1941 expuso una serie de sesenta pinturas, titulada inicialmente The Migration of the Negro, en la prestigiosa Downtown Gallery de Edith Halpert en la ciudad de New York. Con ayuda de su futura esposa, la artista Gwendolyn Knight, Lawrence desarrolló una narrativa pictórica para representar un complicado tema: cómo y porqué millones de afroamericanos pasaron del sur al norte del país entre las dos guerras mundiales. Acompañadas de notas explicativas, las pinturas atrajeron amplia atención y consolidaron la reputación de Lawrence, también creador de narraciones pictóricas sobre figuras de la historia afroamericana como Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman y John Brown. Lawrence posó para este retrato en su estudio junto a la pintura The Visitors, ahora en la colección del Dallas Museum of Art. En el Smithsonian American Art Museum pueden apreciarse varias obras de Lawrence.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
United States\New York\Kings\New York\Brooklyn