Jacob Lawrence

By: Alex, Hannah, Annabel, Ryan, Allison, and David

About Jacob Lawrence


  • Born in Atlantic City in 1917
  • Parents moved from the South to the North, seeking a better life
  • Moved to New York in 1930
  • Discovered Art in an after school program at the Utopia House
  • Attended lectures on black culture and exhibition of African art at a public library which was the intellectual hub of the community he lived in
  • Received a scholarship to the American Artists School
  • Gained recognition for dramatic and lively portrayals of African American life and historical events
  • Known for crisp shaped, bright, clear colors, dynamic patterns, and revealing posture and gestures
  • Received a grand from the Rosenwald Foundation to create a series of images on the migration of African-Americans from the South which became known as the Migration Series

The Migration Series

  • The Migration Series is a sequence of 60 paintings by Jacob Lawrence.
  • It depicts the mass movement of African Americans from the South to the North.
  • Paintings depicted Harlem community: change between life on the farm to urban apartments/tenements
  • The time period the painting depicts is the time between WWI and WWII.
  • Lawrence’s vision of poverty, crime, racial tension, police brutality was shown in these paintings.
  • It was painted in 1940-1941.
  • These paintings brought important historical events to life by drawing upon emotional responses to them.

Works Cited

"Great Migration." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.


"Jacob Lawrence: Exploring Stories." Jacob Lawrence: Exploring Stories. Whitney Museum of American Art, 2002. Web. 8 Sept. 2015.