College of Liberal Arts

History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence

Tue, Sep 12, 2017
The exhibit provides a comprehensive overview of influential American artist Jacob Lawrence’s (1917–2000) printmaking oeuvre, produced from 1963 to 2000
The exhibit provides a comprehensive overview of influential American artist Jacob Lawrence’s (1917–2000) printmaking oeuvre, produced from 1963 to 2000

From August 30th- December 9th, the Warfield Center Galleries’ presents “History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence,” in the Christian-Green Gallery on the University of Texas at Austin’s (UT) campus.

Organized by the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD,) this traveling exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of influential American artist Jacob Lawrence’s (1917–2000) printmaking oeuvre, featuring more than 50 works. Lawrence’s recollection of African-American and larger African diasporic histories are featured, as well as his vivid observations of the dynamic city life in his native Harlem, New York City. Works in the exhibition span from 1963 to 2000 and include significant complete print portfolios, such as the “Toussaint L’Ouverture” series, and “Genesis.”

Lawrence was primarily concerned with the narration of African-American experiences and histories. His acute observations of community life, work, struggle and emancipation during his lifetime were rendered alongside vividly imagined chronicles of the past. The past and present in his practice are intrinsically linked, providing insight into the social, economic and political realities that continue to impact and shape contemporary society today.

“We are honored to host this collection of Lawrence’s work—particularly in this, the centennial year, of the artist’s birth,” says gallery director Lise Ragbir.

“History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence” is organized by SCAD Museum of Art in collaboration with the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, and is curated by Storm Janse van Rensburg, SCAD head curator of exhibitions.

The John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (WCAAAS) is the arts, culture, and programming division of the larger Black Studies community at the University of Texas at Austin. Since its inception at The University of Texas at Austin in June 1969, WCAAAS has been a focal point for campus and community life. The Center’s scholarship and cultural production draws on the expertise of its faculty affiliates in a wide variety of fields and disciplines, including education, history, literary studies, political science, social work, and communications, among others. The Center supports the research and programmatic initiatives of its faculty affiliates and students, collaborates with local organizations, and encourages creative work that seeks to foster social justice for people of African descent around the world. 

By supporting, promoting and sustaining the arts as an expression of creativity and social-justice, the Christian-Green Gallery establishes the University of Texas at Austin as a premiere location to study the art and material culture of the African Diaspora. The state-of-the-art gallery has been designed to exhibit, contemplate and discuss art and material culture as it relates to the Black experience in the United States, Africa and the Diaspora. The Christian-Green Gallery is a space for scholarship, engagement and activism where works by emerging and established artists are mounted, and cutting-edge programs are launched.

For more information contact: blackstudies@austin.utexas.edu, (512) 471-1784

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