Jacob Lawrence

Painter and Educator
1917-2000
Birthplace: Atlantic City, NJ
Education: Harlem Art Workshop, American Artists School

Jacob Lawrence was born September 7, 1917, in Atlantic City, NJ. He grew up Pennsylvania and after his parents divorced he lived in foster homes. When he was 13, he went to live with his mother in Harlem. Jacob studied at the Harlem Art Workshop in New York City and in 1937 he won a two-year scholarship to the American Artists School. Jacob worked with opaque watercolors (gouache) and tempera.

Lawrence is famous for his narrative series of paintings on African-American historical figures and topics. When he was 24, he completed a narrative series of sixty panels called Migration of the Negro (http://www.artchive.com/artchive/L/lawrence/they_were_very_poor.jpg.html) describing the movement of African Americans to cities in the North.

Lawrence taught painting at New York's Pratt Institute and at the University of Washington in Seattle. Exhibits of his work have been hung in major museums including the Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney Museum.

Lawrence created over 1,000 artworks and his career spanned more than 60 years. Jacob Lawrence died in his sleep at his home in Seattle at the age of 82.

"I've always been interested in history, but they never taught Negro history in the public schools...I don't see how a history of the United States can be written honestly without including the Negro. I didn't [paint] just as a historical thing, but because I believe these things tie up with the Negro today. We don't have a physical slavery, but an economic slavery. If these people, who were so much worse off than the people today, could conquer their slavery, we can certainly do the same thing.... I am not a politician. I'm an artist, just trying to do my part to bring this thing about..."
–Jacob Lawrence, 1940


Related Resources

Web Resources
Jacob Lawrence
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/L/lawrence.html

Black History Month  Return to the Encyclopedia
of Prominent African Americans
.

If you need to teach it, we have it covered.

Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of expertly curated worksheets, activities, and lessons created by educational publishers and teachers.

Start Your Free Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus

Highlights

Back to School
Get ready for Back to School! Whether you've returned to the classroom already, or have a couple weeks left of summer break, we have the materials to make those first days easier. Check out our list of Top 10 Things Every Teacher Needs, Bulletin Board Ideas, plus our collections of Icebreakers, Behavior Management Resources, Graphic Organizers, and much, much, more!

2016 Presidential Elections
Election season is here. Help your students understand the process of our national elections, from the President down to local representatives, with our election activities. Read short biographies of presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) and Donald Trump (R), explore mock election ideas, create presidential trading cards, learn election vocabulary, play election bingo and more!

September Calendar of Events
September is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum! Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: Suicide Prevention Week (9/4-10), Labor Day (9/5), International Literacy Day (9/8), Grandparents Day (9/11), Patriot Day (9/11), Author Agatha Christie's Birthday (9/15/1890), Stepfamily Day (9/16), U.S. Constitution Week (9/17-23), International Day of Peace (9/21), Autumn Begins (9/22), and Banned Books Week (9/25-10/1). Plus, celebrate Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Classical Music Month, Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15), Hunger Action Month, Hunger Action Month, Library Card Sign-Up Month, National Sickle Cell Month all September long!