PUBLISHER
THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

BOOK FORMAT
Clth, 9.5 x 12 in. / 192 pgs / 102 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
PUB DATE
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE
CATALOG: SPRING 2015 p. 178   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780870709647 TRADE
LIST PRICE: $50.00 CDN $60.00

AVAILABILITY
Not Available

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

New York
The Museum of Modern Art, 04/03/15-09/07/15

Washington, DC
The Phillips Collection, 10/16-01/17

Published on the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration, this volume presents Lawrence’s landmark painting cycle in its entirety.

  

THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Edited by Leah Dickerman, Elsa Smithgall. Text by Elizabeth Alexander, Rita Dove, Nikky Finney, Terrance Hayes, Tyehimba Jess, Yusef Komunyakaa, Jodi Roberts, Patricia Spears Jones, Natasha Trethewey, Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon, Crystal Williams, Kevin Young.

Featured image, Jacob Lawrence with <I>Migration Series</I> panel 44, ca. 1941, National Archives, Harmon Foundation Collection, is reproduced from <I>Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series</I>.

Jacob Lawrence's masterpiece: his 60 painting cycle telling the story of the end of slavery and the Great Migration north

In 1941, Jacob Lawrence, then just 23 years old, completed a series of 60 small tempera paintings with text captions about the Great Migration, the mass movement of black Americans from the rural South to the urban North that began in 1915–16. Within months of its making, the Migration Series was divided between The Museum of Modern Art (even-numbered panels) and the Phillips Memorial Gallery (odd-numbered panels). The work has since become a landmark in the history of African American art, a monument in the collections of both institutions and a crucial example of the way in which history painting was radically reimagined in the modern era. In 2015 and 2016, the panels will be reunited in exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art (One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Works) and at The Phillips Collection (Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series). This catalogue grounds Lawrence's Migration Series in the cultural and political debates that shaped the young artist's work and highlights its continued resonance for artists and writers today. An essay by Leah Dickerman situates the series within contemporary discussions about black history and an artist's social responsiblities in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Elsa Smithgall traces the acquisition and exhibition history of the Migration Series. Short commentaries on each panel explore Lawrence's career and technique, and the social history of the Migration. The catalogue also debuts ten poems commissioned from acclaimed poets that respond to the Migration Series. Elizabeth Alexander, honored as the poet at President Obama's first inauguration, introduces the section.

Leah Dickerman is a Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Elsa Smithgall is a Curator at The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright, and professor in the Department of African American Studies at Yale University, CT. Alexander wrote and presented the inaugural poem at President Barak Obama's first inauguration ceremony in January 2009.

Rita Dove is the Commonwealth Professor of English at the University of Virginia, a former U.S. Poet Laureate (1993-1995), and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1987).

Nikky Finney is the John H. Bennett, Jr. Chair in Southern Letters and Literature at the University of South Carolina. She is also the winner of the National Book Award for Poetry (2011).

Terrance Hayes is a Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University, PA and the winner of the National Book Award for Poetry (2010). In 2014 Terrance was awarded a MacArthur genius award.

Tyehimba Jess is an Assistant Professor of English at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York.

Yusef Komunyakaa is a Global Distinguished Professor of English at New York University and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1994).

Jodi Roberts is a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA.

Patricia Spears Jones is a New York City-based poet. Her work was included in The Best American Poetry 2000, edited by Rita Dove.

Natasha Trethewey is the U.S. Poet Laureate (2012-present), and the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University, GA. She is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (2007).

Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is an Associate Professor at Cornell University, NY. She is also the winner of the National Book Award for Poetry (2009).

Crystal Williams is the Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Office and Professor of the English Department at Bates College, ME.

Kevin Young is the Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Collection at Emory University. He is the winner of the PEN/Open Book award (2013) and Finalist for the National Book Award (2003).

Featured image, Jacob Lawrence with Migration Series panel 44, ca. 1941, National Archives, Harmon Foundation Collection, is reproduced from Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Details

The Editors

Since 1941, when the renowned African-American painter Jacob Lawrence unveiled The Migration of the Negro, the 60-panel masterpiece has been divvied up between New York City's Museum of Modern Art and the Philips Collection in Washington, D.C., and has rarely been viewed in its entirety. For the first time in 20 years, the paintings–scenes from the decades-long exodus from the rural Jim Crow South to the industrial North–will be reunited at MOMA as the centerpiece of the can't-miss exhibition "One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North."

The Art Newspaper

Julia Halperin

Lawrence used a deceptively simple structure – 60 small tempera paintings, each with its own caption – to tackle difficult political subjects, from bias in the criminal justice system to race riots in St. Louis. Many of the panels feel particularly resonant today.

The New York Times

Holland Cotter

In Harlem, Mr. Lawrence was a deep reader living among deep writers, like Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. He knew them, talked with them, listened. In a very smart move, MoMA has extended this tradition of disciplinary exchange by asking 10 contemporary African-American poets, under the direction of the writer Elizabeth Alexander, to respond to the 'Migration Series' with new work. The results are in the catalog.... Terrific.

The New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

Two impressions stand out. One is the terrifying obstinacy of racial injustice on the eve of the Second World War. The other is the moral grit that was needed to overcome it. In context, "Migration" appears as a hinge of the national consciousness: inward to the untold history of African-Americans and outward to the enlightenment of the wide world. It would not have worked were it not superb art, but it is. Melding modernist form and topical content, the series is both decorative and illustrative, and equally efficient in those fundamental, often opposed functions of painting.

The New Yorker

Peter Schjeldahl

Two impressions stand out. One is the terrifying obstinacy of racial injustice on the eve of the Second World War. The other is the moral grit that was needed to overcome it.

The Financial Times

Ariella Budick

So much, and yet so little, has changed since 1940, when Lawrence laid 60 panels on the floor of his studio and began to tell the story of African-Americans’ northward journey. It’s a tale of fitful improvement without joyous finales.

The Art Newspaper

Joanna Robotham

Several of Lawrence’s panels resonate eerily with current events, as tensions continue to build across the US over the killing of black men by police. In a caption that could easily have been written today, panel 22 reads: “Migrants left. They did not feel safe. It was not wise to be found on the streets late at night. They were arrested on the slightest provocation.” The accompanying image depicts three men handcuffed together. Their vertical stances echo the barriers of the jail cell.

The New York Times Book Review

Isabel Wilkerson

Thus, for many readers, the most powerful pages will inevitably be the 60 panels themselves, the deceptively childlike distillation of history and of the hopes and dreams propelling the movement that produced him. This family of images are together again as Lawrence wished them to be, as enduring now as the day he set them on gesso.

CAA Reviews

Anne Monahan

Dickerman describes the Migration Series, fittingly, as a mode of history painting. The current century’s catalogue of continuing violence against African Americans telegraphs that the structural inequality Lawrence documents is not confined to the past and that the “whole of America” has yet to absorb the lessons he aimed to teach.

The Seattle Times

Michael Upchurch

A fine new catalog.

The Stranger

Emily Pothast

Essential American History, Masterfully Rendered.

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

STATUS: Out of stock

Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.



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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/18/2015

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series, panel 26, "And people all over the South began to discuss this great movement"Captioned "And people all over the South began to discuss this great movement," panel 26 of Jacob Lawrence's masterpiece 1941 60-painting cycle is reproduced from MoMA's outstanding 2015 exhibition catalogue, Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series, published to accompany the landmark show which reunited this groundbreaking work for the first time in more than 20 years. Named one of the year's best solo exhibitions by The New York Times' Holland Cotter, it's also one of our top holiday gift books of 2015. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/29/2015

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series, Panel 52 ("race riots in East St. Louis"), 1940-1941Featured image is panel 52 of The Migration Series (1940-41) by Jacob Lawrence. His eerie caption: "One of the largest race riots occurred in East St. Louis." Jodi Roberts writes, "The violence, aimed principally at African-American communities, left dozens dead and hundreds injured, and created a fortune in property damage; whole swaths of the city were burned out. Fearful for their lives, more than 6,000 black residents of East St. Louis fled. The uprising spurred protests across the country. In a speech in Harlem, the black activist Marcus Garvey called the riot a 'massacre that will go down in history as one of the bloodiest outrages against mankind for which any class of people could be held guilty.' On July 28, 10,000 people joined a silent march down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, holding signs demanding justice and equal rights for blacks across the nation." continue to blog


JACOB LAWRENCE MONOGRAPHS + ARTIST'S BOOKS

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

JACOB LAWRENCE: THE MIGRATION SERIES

THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

ISBN: 9781633450400 | US $35.00

Pub Date: 2/28/2017
Active | In stock


Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series

JACOB LAWRENCE: THE MIGRATION SERIES

THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK

ISBN: 9780870709647 | US $50.00

Pub Date: 3/28/2015
Active | Not Available


Jacob Lawrence: Moving Forward

JACOB LAWRENCE: MOVING FORWARD

Foreword by David C. Driskell. Text by Patricia Hills.

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ISBN: 9780981525013 | US $45.00

Pub Date: 7/1/2008
Active | In stock


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