Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence was an artist and historian - though not in the traditional sense. As the son of migrants north, Lawrence created a visual history of the Great Migration in a series of sixty paintings and captions. His work depicts all aspects of the migration experience examining motivation, work, travel, and new life in the North.

The first painting in the series is pictured below along with a series of related questions that introduce you to the type of analysis of Lawrence's work you will be doing. Click on the right arrow to proceed to the next painting, caption, and set of questions. The questions you will be addressing will help you appreciate how the tools of the artist (subject matter, color, perspective, etc.) can help you understand the history of the Great Migration as interpreted by Lawrence, Please,

• study the images and Lawrence's captions for each of the three paintings your group is assigned and answer the questions for each picture.

• be prepared to present your observations to your classmates as you lead discussion of the paintings you were assigned.

• edit your answers as we discuss each painting in class and take notes on the discussion of the paintings studied by your classmates.

To Start You Thinking -

adapted from the Jacob Lawrence: Exploring Stories exhibit and related teaching materials at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Last modified in October, 2011 by Rick Thomas