The Migration Series Captions

The Migration Series Captions


After receiving a Rosenwald Fund Fellowship to create The Migration Series, Jacob Lawrence wrote original captions with the help of fellow artist and future wife Gwendolyn Knight before developing the drawings. Check out the originial captions he wrote from 1940–41:


In 1993, Lawrence changed the captions. Fifty years later, he felt the language did not match the universality of his designs. Explore the updated captions, which are the ones that now appear in exhibitions:


Compare the original captions and the updated ones. How are these captions similar? What words or phrases have been changed? Why do you think Lawrence made these changes?