Jacob Lawrence


signed poster

Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 – June 9, 2000) was an African-American painter known for his portrayal of African-American life. As well as a painter, storyteller, and interpreter, he was an educator. Lawrence referred to his style as "dynamic cubism", though by his own account the primary influence was not so much French art as the shapes and colors of Harlem. He brought the African-American experience to life using blacks and browns juxtaposed with vivid colors. He also taught and spent 15 years as a professor at the University of Washington.

On a personal note, Professor Lawrence visited my hospital bedside in 1975 during my rehabilitation at UW Medical Center. He examined my sketchbook and lifted my spirits considerably. Later, we were guest artists together with Artists Unlimited, an initiative with United Cerebral Palsy.