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BLACK HISTORY MONTH IN NJ: A Salute to Atlantic City Artist Jacob Lawrence

By rlsmetro on
Atlantic City

According to officials at Rowan University in NJ, Mr. Jacob Lawrence was born in Atlantic City. One of the foremost painters in twentieth-century America; he was the first black artist to be represented by a significant commercial gallery and the first to receive mainstream recognition.

Shortly after moving to Washington state, Lawrence did a series of five paintings on the westward journey of African-American pioneer George Washington Bush. These paintings are now in the collection of the State of Washington History Museum.

Lawrence taught at several universities and continued to paint until a few weeks before his death from lung cancer in June 2000 at the age of eighty-two.

Shortly before his death, the artist stated, "...for me, a painting should have three things: universality, clarity and strength. Clarity and strength so that it may be aesthetically good. Universality so that all men may understand it."

His last commissioned public work, the mosaic mural New York in Transit, was installed in October 2001 in the Times Square subway station in New York City.

His best-known series was the "Migration of the Negro," produced in 1940.

INFORMATION & IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia, Rowan University of NJ

SPONSORS: Metro Media Institute of Harrison, Nino's Pizza, Bergen Street Harrison NJ, and William Paterson University