Jacob Lawrence

Better Essays
One the most distinguished artists of the twentieth century, Jacob Lawrence was born in Atlantic City and spnt part of his child hood in Pennsylvania. After his parents split up in 1924, he went with his mother and siblings to New York, settling in Harlem. "He trained as a painter at the Harlem Art Workshop, inside the New York Public Library's 113 5th Street branch. Younger than the artists and writers who took part in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Lawrence was also at an angle to them: he was not interested in the kind of idealized, fake-primitive images of blacks - the Noble Negroes in Art Deco guise - that tended to be produced as an antidote to the toxic racist stereotypes with which white popular culture had flooded America since Reconstruction. Nevertheless, he gained self-confidence from the Harlem cultural milieu - in particular, from the art critic Alain Locke, a Harvard-trained esthete (and America's first black Rhodes scholar) who believed strongly in the possibility of an art created by blacks, which could speak explicitly to African-Americans and still embody the values, and self-critical powers, of modernism. Or, in Locke's own words, "There is in truly great art no essential conflict between racial or national traits and universal human values." This would not sit well with today's American cultural separatists who trumpet about the incompatibility of American experiences - "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand" - but it was vital to Lawrence's own growth as an artist. Locke perceived the importance of the Great Migration, not just as an economic event but as a cultural one, in which countless blacks took over the control of their own lives, which had been denied them in the South: When years later he told an interviewer that "I am the black community," he was neither boasting nor kidding. He had none of the alienation from Harlem that was felt by some other black artists of the 1930s, like the expatriate William Johnson.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Jacob Lawrence

    • 1498 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Jacob Lawrence has painted figurative and narrative pictures of the black community and black history for more than 60 years in a consistent modernist style, using expressive, strong design and flat areas of color. Jacob Lawrence was a great artist. During Harlem Renaissance, he helped establish African American artists. He gave lectures at Washington University, and he enjoyed working with students of all ages.…

    • 1498 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jacob Lawrence created this artwork in 1930's Harlem New York which was the center of Black art and artist's at the time. This art was not only created for a group of the population that were only two generations from slavery, but for the masses. Black people were still treated horribly with Jacob Lawrence's art was always unapologetically black and not watered down. This art was made to show that the ancestors of the many people that Harriet Tubman freed will overcome the hardships of the world and will be joyful in the…

    • 552 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Despite the advancement of America in ways that were extraordinary, Negros were still being treated harshly and considered the inferior race. However, during this period of constant discrimination through stereotypical accusations, undermining, and prejudice, the New Negro arose and revolutionized society as a whole. Through reading the works of prominent social activists Langston Hughes and Alain Locke; it can be understood that the concept of the New Negro was a promising aspect during the Harlem Renaissance. The “New Negro”, coined by Alain Locke, is described as being a modernist – an independent and self-guided individual who would go against longstanding white supremacy and prove his equality and noncompliance to unreasonable white assumptions and demands. Langston Hughes and Alain Locke both pushed for the acknowledgement of the American Negro’s part in society as the emanating New Negro sought social compensation for the misjudgment and inequality they faced. The impression Langston Hughes and Alain Locke made, and the message they brought through their works, can be appreciated through Aaron Douglas’s “Building More Stately…

    • 1745 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Additionally, one can also see the shift in the effects of family interaction of the Negro from one time period to the next. During the time of the Harlem Renaissance, the large majority of the writers that found themselves overseas would often write about their yearning to return to Harlem (Bremer 49). The majority of the influential writers spent so much of their time in Paris that Alain Locke coined the term “Transplanted Harlem” for it. Therefore it must be evident that the change in both the social and written cultures, in regards to the change in family interaction, art, and literary styles between the two, of the New Negro in comparison to the African American of today is due to the effects of the Harlem Renaissance.…

    • 1171 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Martin Lawrence

    • 280 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Martin Lawrence returns as FBI agent Malcolm Turner, who again goes deep undercover as "Big Momma." The FBI has learned that a computer software developer named Tom Fuller has created a computer virus that allows access to classified US government files. Fuller is planning to sell the virus to terrorist organizations all over the world. Upon hearing this, the FBI's best chance is Fuller's wife. So Malcolm goes undercover as Big Momma in order to pose as Mrs. Fuller's nanny and as always, Big Momma turns the house upside down.…

    • 280 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    In “This is a family living in Harlem” Jacob Lawrence chose a regular painting style making the painting appear rough and shabby. The layout is asymmetric. Everything in the painting is scattered, the family, the stove, where the lines meet, and the curtains. All of the colors in this painting are bright nut do not give off a happy emotion. The body language is negative, the family seems to be slouched, hunched over, and very down. All family members are wearing all different colors that do not see to be very positive. The father in this painting is wearing a blue collar unlike the father in the other painting showing he most likely has a hard job that requires physical work. This family appears to be a not so wealthy family.…

    • 330 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Jacob Castle

    • 1305 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Yelles "Jules, Julius Cassel" Kassel; born abt.1590 and died abt.1681 of Krisheim, Germany, "Krisheim is located between Manheim and Worms in the Palatinate (Pfalz)", had at least two sons, ; Johannes "John" Cassel, born abt. 1639 and died April 17, 1692 in Philadelphia, Pa. and Arnold Cassel, born abt. 1642 and died abt. 1687. These were the first Cassel, Cassell, Kassel, Kassell, Castle's to come to America.…

    • 1305 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    In the book entitled "Harlem Renaissance" by Nathan Irvin Huggins a story is told about the time period before World War I and the following years in which a "Black Metropolis" was created unlike the world had ever seen. It was the largest and by far the most important black community in the world. It brought together black intellectuals from all over the world to this new "Black Mecca" with dreams of prosperity and change. Their common goal was the prosperity of the New Negro as Alain Locke called them. This New Negro was one that was cultured, educated, artistic, and would bring prosperity to the African-American. All these were the promises of the Harlem Renaissance. I think that his thesis was in the opening sentence when he talks about Harlem. When people saw Harlem, they saw opportunity, they saw a place where they could escape and enjoy artistic freedom. They saw liberation, they saw hope, they saw a place where confidence was in abundance. That confidence translated to the belief that reform could be attained. Sadly, Nathan Irvin Huggins points out that all they were was deceived by their dream. They all saw in Harlem much more than what was really there. A common belief was that they could use their talents as a way of bridging the gap between the races. Unfortunately racism has been so deep rooted in the white American psyche that it would take more than the New Negro proving he had artistic talent to be accepted as one and the same. Huggins also cites that their art was compromised by the fact that it was intended for white patrons and was not a full reflection of them. Another mistake they made was not organizing a grass roots movement. The black political leaders failed to become a unified voting force and were unable to obtain true political power needed to bring about change.…

    • 1753 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jeff Jacoby

    • 898 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Jeff Jacoby, a columnist for the Boston Globe, is the author of an article called “Bring Back Flogging” that suggests the reinstatement of flogging as a criminal punishment. Jacoby argues that the use of flogging is a better form of punishment for criminals because it would not only help save money, but also provide a better form of punishment for some criminals. In his argument, Jacoby fails to address issues at the point they are presented while also stating some irrelevant facts, which does somewhat hinder his ethical appeal. However, Jacoby does include many helpful facts and comparisons that help to justify his thinking, which makes his argument pretty valid.…

    • 898 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jacob Van Ruisdael

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Forest Scene is one of Ruisdael’s tributes to nature along with symbolic allegories about human disposition towards life. Its significance lies on the fact that the artist incorporated a romantic and atmospheric sense rather than realistically depict a momentum in the Dutch countryside. It is oil on canvas and the dimensions are 105.5 x 123.4cm. The artist is Jacob van Ruisdael (c. 1628-1682). This painting is exhibited since 1942 in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., currently at Gallery 49 on the Main Floor of the West Building.…

    • 856 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Harlem Renaissance was a period where African American’s had thrived on emotion and discrimination; the many subjects their poems/stories was about. It was a period in time also that caused a lot of pain and suffering. One writer who had dealt with pain and suffering was Ralph Ellison. Ellison’s attitude toward the opportunities African Americans get is extremely troublesome and disheartening. He felt that because of their skin color they were being discriminated, they would have to work harder to earn equal opportunities whereas whites earned it quickly, and they had to act a certain way otherwise duality became the outcome.…

    • 597 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Racial Mountain

    • 882 Words
    • 4 Pages

    What is the Harlem Renaissance? The Harlem Renaissance was a movement that was prompted by the advocacy of racial equality that began in the early 1920s and lasted into the 1930s. Also known as the “New Negro Movement”, the Renaissance was the development of African American culture, and was the most influential movement in African American literary history, cultural literature, and music, theatrical and visual arts. Participants such as Zora Neal Hurston, W.E.B. DuBoise, and Langston Hughes, among others sought to reconceptualize “the Negro” apart from the white stereotypes that had influenced African-American’s relationship to their heritage and to each other. In this paper we will discuss the contributions Langston Hughes made to the movement and his thought process and reasoning for doing so.…

    • 882 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Education and employment opportunities had led to the development of a small black middle class, and few blacks thought that their future lay in the economically depressed rural South, resulting in hundreds of thousands migrating to seek prosperity and opportunity in the North. As these more educated and socially conscious blacks settled into New York's neighborhood of Harlem, it developed into the cultural and political center of black America. It is out of this environment that Langston Hughes developed. In 1926, professor Alain Locke (1969) observed, "The younger generation is vibrant with a new psychology," which was shown by a shift from "...social disillusionment to race pride." Locke noted that this new psychology rejected the old stereotypes of black "aunties, uncles, and mammies" and substituted instead self-respect, self-dependence, and racial unity, and much of that is the core of Hughes writings.…

    • 1738 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    By the 1920’s the Harlem Renaissance had a big impact in New York City. Harlem, a small neighbourhood in New York had the largest urban population. Just like many neighborhoods Harlem suffered from overcrowding, unemployment and poverty. Even though Harlem suffered from the problems these people from Harlem didn't let that impact them. Jazz erupted, flappers came around, mass-production was becoming known. Fundamentalism started affecting the people of Harlem and their social norms. Now let's look at the life of Marcel in Harlem……

    • 520 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Langston Hughes was a predominant figure during the Harlem Renaissance. In Joplin, Missouri on February 1st of 1902, James Mercer Langston Hughes was born. His mother and father had separated, so the majority of his early life was spent with his Grandmother until she died. Langston’s passion for poetry began when he and his mother moved to Cleveland, Ohio. He would occasionally send in pieces of his poetry to many magazines, including his school’s magazine. After graduating from high school, Langston would then study at Columbia University for 1 year and would study poetry in many places such as Mexico and Paris. Through his poetry, Mr. Hughes wanted to highlight the black communities concerns and challenges that they faced during…

    • 210 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays