Lawrence's Later Years

Lawrence's Later Years


Before Jacob Lawrence had exhibited The Migration Series, Alain LeRoy Locke wrote an article in Fortune magazine, in 1941, about the series. It was published with 26-full color images and catapulted Jacob Lawrence into the spotlight.


His work caught the eyes of New York art dealer Edith Halpert who featured the series at her Downtown Gallery in 1941 and later arranged the purchase of The Migration Series by The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In July 1941, Lawrence married fellow 306 Workshop artist and writer, Gwendolyn Knight.

In subsequent years, Lawrence continued to depict historical and contemporary scenes of the African American experience in his paintings. He spent the latter half of his life painting and teaching. He taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1946. He then had teaching stints at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Culture in Maine, and the New School for Social Research in New York.

In 1971, he became a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he spent the rest of his life. Lawrence was still drawing and painting when he died in 2000 at age 82.