Spring/Summer 2002 Issue: Volume 1, Issue 1
Sidney Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College. Artwork (c) 2002 Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence, courtesy of The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation.
Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was one of the greatest figurative painters of the twentieth century. He received artistic training in Harlem and became the first African American artist to be represented by a major commercial gallery. In 1971, Lawrence moved to Seattle, where he continued painting until his death at the age of eighty-two.
In a 1974 retrospective catalog, the art historian Milton C. Brown noted: "There is something monolithic about Jacob Lawrence and his work, a hard core of undeviating seriousness and commitment to both social and Black consciousness....He has at the same time continued to insist on the larger human struggle for freedom and social jusstice in all the world and for all people." In 1994, a silk screen print based on the painting Lawyers and Clients was produced as a fundraiser for the National Bar Institute Project. This print hangs in the entrance to Seattle University School of Law.