Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series: the whole story
In 1941, at the high point of the Great African-American Migration, Jacob Lawrence created and captioned a sequence of 60 small paintings visually and poignantly portraying that migration. Viewed in its entirety, the series creates a narrative, in pictures and words, which tells the story of that exodus.
Lawrence’s Migration Series was quickly recognized, not just as a representation, but as an essential piece of the ongoing movement. Not just documentation of history, but part of history. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Phillips Collection competed to purchase the works, which were ultimately split between the two museums, with odd-numbered panels going to the Phillips and even-numbered to MoMA. The split broadened access but made it just about impossible to “read” the whole “story” in order, let alone in its entirety.
On rare occasions, all 60 panels have been exhibited together, most recently in Seattle. But we’ve been unaware of any place in cyberspace where you could acquire the whole story and hang it on your wall. Until now. Art Authority is proud to announce that, as part of Black History Month, we have worked with the Phillips, MoMA and the Lawrence Foundation to make available 1000Museums-brand archival prints of all 60 panels.
We’re so proud that we’ve taken things beyond just these foundational panels and created an entire web site devoted to celebrating related works of art by a number of major African-American artists. The site, FocusOnAfricanAmericanArtists.com adds context to Lawrence’s panels not just through other important works by him, but also by others who came both before and after. Works by early artists Henry Ossawa Tanner and Horace Pippin, later artists Romare Bearden and Faith Ringgold, and many more. All available through the museum-approved quality of 1000Museums archival reproductions.
Another small piece of an ongoing story.