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Jacob Lawrence: Toussaint L'Ouverture Series
Krannert Art Museum, College of Fine and Applied Arts at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
January 25 through March 31, 2013

Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) was one of the most influential and compelling painters of the twentieth century whose work focused on the struggles of historical and contemporary black culture. When twenty years old, Lawrence began a series of 41 paintings on the life of Toussaint L'Ouverture, the revolutionary who led the founding in 1791 of Haiti as the first republic established by former slaves. The Haitian Revolution has been an important symbol of the fight against slavery and the struggle for emancipation and civil rights in the United States and around the world. The Toussaint L'Ouverture series (1937–38) is on loan from The Amistad Research Center, Tulane University and is an important focus for the University of Illinois' celebration of the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (1862).

Lawrence also produced series on the lives of anti-slavery activists Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. He is perhaps best known for the 60 paintings comprising The Migration of the Negro Series (1940–41), which tells the story of the migration of African Americans from the rural South to the industrialized urban North during the Great Depression.


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Select Programming:


January 24, 4–5:30 pm
Lecture

"Jacob Lawrence's Toussaint L'Ouverture Series: Historical & Art/Historical Contexts"
Barry Gaither, Executive Director, Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists, Boston, will discuss this important series by Jacob Lawrence, his inspirations and style—which he once described as "dynamic cubism"—and his important legacy for American and Afro-American art.
College of Law Auditorium


January 24, 5–6 pm
Private Members' Reception

Please RSVP to Chris Schaede (217 244 0516 or kam@illinois.edu) by Friday, January 18.
January 24, 6–7 pm
(museum open until 9 pm)
Public Opening Reception
With opening comments by Tumelo Mosaka and Irene Small, curators of Blind Field, at 6 pm.
Cash bar provided by Michaels’ Catering
Hosted by the Krannert Art Museum Council


February 21, time TBA
Lecture

The World (2004)
"How (and Why) a Black Physician Became a Leading Collector of African-American Art"
Dr. Walter O. Evans has been called one of the leading collectors of African American art in the world. In this lecture, he will share the inspiration and history of his collection that spans 150 years of African American art and life, including Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and Elizabeth Catlett.
KAM Auditorium
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