Diaspora-Artists logo

(Jacob) Lawrence: Quiet Spokesman

Article relating to an individual, 1944
Published by: Art News (New York)
Year published: 1944
Number of pages: 1

image of (Jacob) Lawrence: Quiet Spokesman

Article on Jacob Lawrence, to which a brief Who’s Who biographical summary was appended.

By the mid 1940s, celebrated American painter Jacob Lawrence (born 1917) had already secured the following substantial résumé, [Art News’ Who’s Who, October 1944]. “LAWRENCE, Jacob, painter. Born Atlantic City, N.J. 1917, son of rose and Jacob Lawrence. Studied Charles Alston & Henry Bannarn 1934 – 1938. Scholarship American Artists school 1937 – 1938. 1941 married Gwendolyn Knight. One man shows at Downtown Gallery 1941 and 1943, and Museum of Modern Art 1944. 1938 awarded Second Prize N.Y. Federal Art Project; 1941 – 1943 Rosenwald Fellowship; 1943 Metropolitan Museum Artists for victory $600 purchase prize. Represented in permanent collections of Albright Art Gallery, Howard University, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum, Whitney Museum, Phillips Memorial Gallery, Portland Museum, Providence Museum, Worcester Museum, Virginia Museum.” There then follows a list of private collectors. The year was, as mentioned, 1944. Lawrence was just about 27.

This appreciation of Lawrence appeared in Art News magazine, under the title, Lawrence: Quiet Spokesman.

The text was introduced as follows, “The paradox that the most effective propaganda for understanding the Negro problem should be purely visual truth is the essence of Jacob Lawrence’s work. For this young Negro has, in his own words, “tried to paint things as I see them.” In this lies his power as a painter; his perception and his comprehension are never literary, and his mode of expression is pictorial rather than illustrative. Lawrence’s pride (certainly merited) is the fact that his work has reached a wide public through acceptance of museums across the country, a tribute to a painter with a purpose rather than a propagandist.”

A portrait of Lawrence appeared alongside the Who’s Who summary. The portrait had all the hallmarks of having been taken by Carl Van Vechten, though the photograph was uncredited. There were three monochrome reproductions of Lawrence’s work, including one which alluded to his “current one man show at Museum of Modern Art.”

Quotes from Lawrence: Quiet Spokesman, Art News, New York, October 15 – 31, 1944.

Related people

»  Jacob Lawrence

Born, 1917 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Died, 2000