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Harlem Street Scene

Jacob Lawrence

Contemporary Art

These three screenprints represent a later period in Jacob Lawrence’s career, when he turned his attention to printmaking. Extending a theme from his earlier work—the sixty panels of his landmark Migration Series (1941)—here he continues to treat the history of African Americans who had migrated to the North in great numbers between the 1920s and the 1940s.The artist said:

To me, migration means movement. There was conflict and struggle. But out of the struggle came a kind of power and even beauty. “And the migrants kept coming” is a refrain of triumph over adversity.

The ’20’s . . . The Migrants Cast Their Ballots shows black people exercising the right to vote. The Builders and Harlem Street Scene show Lawrence’s interest in the vibrancy of everyday life—not only in the particular activities shown, but in the humanity and dignity of the people.
MEDIUM Screenprint on white wove paper
DATES 1975
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 30 7/16 x 22 1/2 in. (77.3 x 57.2 cm) Image: 24 3/8 x 18 1/2 in. (61.9 x 47 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed, "Jacob Lawrence 1975" lower right in graphite
INSCRIPTIONS Below screenprint: "123/150" "Harlem Street Scene" "Jacob Lawrence" "1975" in graphite
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE Gift of Robert Levinson
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Jacob Lawrence (American, 1917–2000). Harlem Street Scene, 1975. Screenprint on white wove paper, Sheet: 30 7/16 x 22 1/2 in. (77.3 x 57.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Robert Levinson, 1989.32. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1989.32_PS9.jpg)
EDITION Edition: 123/150
IMAGE overall, 1989.32_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2017
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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