Jacob Lawrence, Jacob, Augusta Savage discussed on Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Gwendolyn she was actually a few years older than Lawrence very beautiful woman and she had gone to Howard University but because of the depression had left on back to Harlem born in Bridgetown Barbados. Nineteen Thirteen Gwendolyn. Like Jacob became a foster child when she was seven years old. I think if you know a little bit about Jacob I think by the time he was thirteen or fourteen he. He and his mother didn't get along. He was a foster child when he went to Harlem so Gwynne was from her mother given to a family to come to the US because her mother thought that she could have a better life here so in a sense they were both orphans. Barbara Earl. Thomas is a Seattle based visual artists. She met the couple when she was a graduate student and when the couple grew old she became their caretaker. So when Gwen and Jacob finally got together they were very much on their own and I feel like people were older quicker. I mean this long childhood thing we have going on now. That's just you know that just wasn't happening you know in your fifteen years old and you're sixteen years old. You were making your way. Augusta savage also recognized. Lawrence's Talon once. You found out that he had dropped out of school to focus on painting. She made sure it wouldn't be in vain. Nineteen thirty seven thousand the officers on the project. They said I was too young but she. They advised Back next year I went back to all of Wasn't the anymore. She had not forgotten and she took me back. A sign me up. I was signed on the EASEL. The almost comically bureaucratic name easel division referred to the Group of artists who paint conventional canvas works for public throughout the city. A turning to six weeks and salary was a fabulous our at twenty. Three thousand aces. This was a major turning point. Lawrence's career here. Again is Patricia Hills. He was very involved with showing the history of African Americans in this country and also like to Saint Louis Latour in Haiti. Lawrence was twenty years ago. He was inspired to paint too sought lower from conversations. He overheard at the three. Oh six black. History had never been a major part of his formal education so he immediately immersed himself in research and it became clear that a single painting wouldn't do justice to the story he wanted to portray. I mean people don't know that that revolutionary history but the the Haitian army fought on the side of the US against the British during the revolutionary war. He wanted to bring out that history. Lawrence would choose a serial format and create work focusing on the mistreatment of patients by colonial farmers as well as low richer struggle to educate himself fight military occupation forces and achieve independence for his country completed in nineteen thirty eight. Lawrence's series the life of to Lower. -Ture consists of forty-one panels in many ways this series. What serve as a template for the more astonishing works yet to come. He was a historian as well as an artist and was very important to him to get his message and get the teachings of history across. So that's why he decided to do series so that he would have captions to each one of the pictures so that they were there almost like storyboards for a movie you know. In which you you know you go. From scene to scene and he weaves together in their rhythms really returning back to what? Elaine lock was calling artists to do in the nineteen twenties and thirties. Melanie Harby as a professor of Art History at Howard University nine that African legacy in using tools and strategies from that period to address our contemporary moment. So we see figurative representations of African Americans and powerful stances going back to New Negro Movement and Times revising African American representation. The fact that in the nineteenth century there was a whole visual program a by individuals like not only Richard Alan. The founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church the oldest African American denomination in the states but also individuals like Frederick Douglass. Either beat truth literally using their representation as a way of redefining identity. National Right so in some ways we can think about. Even what Jacob Lawrence grows to do right as a building on this kind of visual strategy of correcting misrepresentations histories of oppression. Laurence POWELL TO SALT. Literature series additional works depicting the lots of big years including Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. But his most ambitious work was yet to come.

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