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African American Voices: Jacob Lawrence: The Gallery

Hello! And welcome to the online exhibition African American Voices: Jacob Lawrence.

Through Artstor, we have selected a number of paintings from Lawrence's Migration Series, a collection of 60 panels detailing the lives of African Americans during the Great Migration after World War I. 

Take a look through the gallery of images below, and check out resources tab to learn more about Jacob Lawrence and his art.

Lawrence Panel 1

Panel No. 1

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940 -- 1941. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 1. Place: The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1942. https://library.artstor.org/asset/APHILLIPSIG_10310733116.

Artist's Description:

During the World War there was a great migration North by Southern Negroes

Migration Series Panel 2

Panel No. 2

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940-41. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 2. Painting. Place: The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy. https://library.artstor.org/asset/AMOMA_10312310823.

Artist's Description:

The World War had caused a great shortage in Northern industry and also citizens of foreign countries were returning home.

Migration Series Panel 3

Panel No. 3

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940 -- 1941. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 3. Place: The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1942. https://library.artstor.org/asset/APHILLIPSIG_10310732395.

Artist's Description:

In every town Negroes were leaving by the hundreds to go North and enter into Northern industry.

Migration Series Panel 4

Panel No. 4

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940-41. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 4. Painting. Place: The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy. https://library.artstor.org/asset/AMOMA_10312310824.

Artist's Description:

The Negro was the largest source of labor to be found after all others had been exhausted. 

Migration Series Panel 5

Panel No. 5

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940 -- 1941. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 5. Place: The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1942. https://library.artstor.org/asset/APHILLIPSIG_10310733117.

Artist's Description:

The Negroes were given free passage on the railroads which was paid back by Northern industry. It was an agreement that the people brought North on these railroads were to pay back their passage after they had received jobs.

Migration Series Panel 7

Panel No. 7

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940 -- 1941. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 7. Place: The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1942. https://library.artstor.org/asset/APHILLIPSIG_10310733118.

Artist's Description:

The Negro, who had been part of the soil for many years, was now going into and living a new life in urban centers.

Migration Series Panel 11

Panel No. 11

Lawrence, Jacob, American, Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-. 1940-1941, 1940-41. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 11. Paintings. Place: The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1942. https://library.artstor.org/asset/APHILLIPSIG_10313147307.

Artist's Description:

In many places, because of the war, food had doubled in price.

Migration Series Panel 27

Panel No. 27

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940 -- 1941. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 27. Place: The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1942. https://library.artstor.org/asset/APHILLIPSIG_10310733123.

Artist's Description:

Many men stayed behind until they could bring their families North.

Migration Series Panel 35

Panel No. 35

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940 -- 1941. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 35. Place: The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1942. https://library.artstor.org/asset/APHILLIPSIG_10310733126.

Artist's Description:

They left the South in large numbers and they arrived in the North in large numbers.

Migration Series Panel 55

Panel No. 55

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940 -- 1941. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 55. Place: The Phillips Collection, Acquired 1942. https://library.artstor.org/asset/APHILLIPSIG_10310732479.

Artist's Description:

The Negro being suddenly moved from out of doors and cramped into urban life, contracted a great deal of tuberculosis. Because of this the death rate was very high.

Migration Series Panel 56

Panel No. 56

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940-41. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 56. Painting. Place: The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy. https://library.artstor.org/asset/AMOMA_10312310035.

Artist's Description:

Among one of the last groups to leave the South was the Negro professional who was forced to follow his clientele to make a living.

Migration Series Panel 60

Panel No. 60

Lawrence, Jacob. 1940-41. The Migration of the Negro Panel no. 60. Painting. Place: The Museum of Modern Art, Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy. https://library.artstor.org/asset/AMOMA_10312309671.

Artist's Description:

And the migrants kept coming.