Jacob Lawrence (American, 1917-2000)
tempera on Masonite, Unframed - h:60.90 w:76.20 cm (h:23 15/16 w:30 inches). Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 2007.158
Having moved to Harlem as a teenager, Lawrence would become the first major artist trained entirely within the neighborhood’s African American community. Throughout his long career he believed art should be a quest for both self and social identity, a notion reflected in this work, one of his liveliest and largest paintings. Teeming with more than forty figures, it depicts the vibrant streetscape at the intersection of Fulton Street (now Harriet Tubman Avenue) and Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, near where the artist lived at the time.