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Jacob Lawrence Educational Posters, Books, Videos, Links for Learning

art history > JACOB LAWRENCE < black history < social studies < art education resource links

African-American artist Jacob Lawrence grew up in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance. He became nationally famous in 1941 when his "Migration Series" depicting the World War I era move north of former southern slaves. Other series of works are about abolionist John Brown and Haitian revolutionary Toussaint l'Ouverture.

Choose educational posters, art prints, books, calendars and videos celebrating the life and times of African American artist Jacob Lawrence as teaching resources for the language arts, social studies classrooms and home schoolers.

Celebrate Black History

African American Artists - Jacob Lawrence - The Library Wall Poster
Jacob Lawrence -
The Library Wall

The Library Wall

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• February is Library Lovers Month- see more February Observances posters

Masterworks of Art - Jacob Lawrence - Parade Wall Poster
Masterworks of Art
Education Poster

Jacob Lawrence

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Harlem Renaissance Culture Guide Map Poster
Harlem Renaissance
Culture Guide
Map Poster

Harlem Renaissance Culture Guide Poster Map
One Hundred Years of History, Art, and Culture

Poster map guide shows the homes, nightclubs, and churches linked with Harlem’s writers, artists, musicians, thinkers, and political leaders of the 1920s.

Alvin Ailey Charles AlstonMarian Anderson • The Apollo Theater • James BaldwinRomare Bearden • The Cotton Club • W.E.B. DuBoisKatherine DunhamDuke EllingtonRalph EllisonMarcus GarveyAlthea Gibson Dizzy GillespieW.C. HandyBillie HolidayLangston HughesZora Neale HurstonJacob LawrenceJoe LouisThurgood MarshallMalcolm X • Minton's Playhouse, • Adam Clayton Powell Jr.Paul RobesonA. Philip RandolphAugusta Savage • The Savoy • The Schomburg Center • James Van Der ZeeMadam C. J. WalkerMary Lou Williams

• more Harlem Renaissance posters
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who is in this poster?
• more maps

• more Black History posters
art education resource links

"If at times my productions do not express the conventionally beautiful, there is always an effort to express the universal beauty of man's continuous struggle to lift his social position and to add dimension to his spiritual being." Jacob Lawrence,
b. 9-17-1917; Atlantic City, NJ
d. 6-9-2000; Seattle, WA


The Great Migration by Jacob Lawrence (Illustrator) - chronicles the 1916-1919 migration of blacks from the South through a sequence of 60 paintings and accompanying narrative captions. The story begins with the call for new workers in the North to replace those men fighting in Europe. There was no justice for African Americans under Southern law, and sharecropping kept them poor.

Harriet and the Promised Land by Jacob Lawrence (Illustrator) - biography in verse about Harriet Tubman and her dedicated efforts to lead her fellow slaves to freedom.

The Story Painter: The Life of Jacob Lawrence - The paintings of Jacob Lawrence tell stories. Stories of enslavement and freedom, of human migration and renaissance, of struggle and of trimph. a collection of these stunning paintings provides the backdrop for this exceptional biography which tells the story of one of our finest living painters - from his family's experience i the great migration North, to his growing up in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance, to his rise as one of the most renowned painters of the African-American experience. 25 full-color reproductions. (from the back cover)

The Complete Jacob Lawrence - a large, two-volume set on the late African American artist who died in June 2000, is so thoughtfully conceived that in addition to admiration, a reader feels gratitude for it. Over the Line, a book of biographical and critical essays, and its companion, a catalogue raisonné, are exactly what Lawrence deserves. A successful artist both in and out of the mainstream throughout most of the 20th century, he was also handily pigeonholed. A social realist, a modernist, and a storyteller, he was described as "self-taught," "primitive," "jazz-age," "narrative," and, above all, "African American." But the eight richly detailed essays in Over the Line show his complex work--in which the threads of abstraction and narrative are tightly woven--in all its magnitude. The books possess unusual authority, as all of the writers knew Lawrence to some extent, and Lawrence's wife, the artist Gwendolyn Knight, was instrumental in the project's fruition.

When Lawrence was a professor of painting, a graduate teaching assistant complained to him that her students resisted her instructions. His response was, "Tell them they're absolutely right. And then tell them to do it your way." This confidence in the validity of different points of view allowed him to express everything he knew about the hardships of African American life while remaining open and interested in everything the world had to offer. His last great series, "The Builders," is a moving metaphor for harmony, showing carpenters of all skin shades working together with hammers, nails, saws, and other tools to construct--what? A better life? A better country? A better world? Lawrence's point was never so reductive. It was enough that they were working side by side. As a Washington Post critic once wrote, "An aura of affection, goodwill and respect, both given and received, shines around the man, and like armor around his art."

Jacob Lawrence: An Intimate Portrait (1993)–VHS Tape - From Depression-era Harlem, Jacob Lawrence worked his way up through federal art workshops to become the first nationally recognized African-American artist of his generation. His intimate views of street life and images of historic figures honor the struggles of African-Americans. Jacob Lawrence: An Intimate Portrait offers an engaging glimpse into both the interior and exterior lives of this most influential painter, interweaving talks with the charismatic Lawrence, wife Gwendolyn Knight, colleagues, and critics, with the painter's own magnificent works.

Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery (1998 VHS) - groundbreaking six hour series of surprising revelations, dramatic recreations, rare archival photography and riveting first-person accounts. Africans in America helps define the reality of slavery’s past through the insightful commentary of a wide range of voices, including General Colin Powell and leading scholars, and offers unparalleled understanding - from slavery’s birth in the early 1600s through the violent onset of civil war in 1860. Narrated by Angela Bassett; includes the voices of William Hurt and Andre Braugher. Winner 1998 Peabody Award.


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last updated 10/7/13