Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917–June 9, 2000) was an African American painter; he was married to fellow artist Gwendolyn Knight.

Lawrence is probably among the most well known twentieth century African American painters, a distinction also shared by Romare Bearden. Lawrence's Migration Series made him nationally famous when it was featured in a 1941 issue of Fortune Magazine. The series depicts the great move north of blacks in the Depression years.

Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, but moved many times over the course of his life, first making his name in Harlem and finally settling in Seattle, Washington in 1970 to become an art professor at the University of Washington, where some of his works are now displayed as part of the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering [1]. In 1998 he received Washington State's highest honor, The Washington Medal of Merit.

Lawrence's work often portrayed important periods in African-American history. Among his works are a series of pieces about the abolitionist John Brown and another about Haitian revolutionary Toussaint l'Ouverture.