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date: 01 March 2021

Lawrence, Jacoblocked

(07 September 1917–09 June 2000)
  • Daniel Grant

Extract

Lawrence, Jacob (07 September 1917–09 June 2000), painter, was born Jacob Armstead Lawrence in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the son of Jacob Lawrence, a railroad cook, and Rosalee Armstead Lawrence, a domestic servant. Later recognized as the first artist to document through his art the African-American experience as an important chapter of American history, Lawrence himself experienced racism, poverty and instability, alienation, a broken home, and the exuberant street life of the black community. At age two, he moved with his family to Easton, Pennsylvania. In 1924 his father deserted the family and eventually bought a shop in the Harlem section of New York City; his mother took the children to Philadelphia, where they lived for six years before moving to Harlem. There Jacob occasionally encountered his father, but they did not become close, and the father never contributed financially to his family....

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