You will conduct research on the artist Jacob Lawrence, then write about one of his artworks employing course vocabulary and contextual analysis.
Jacob Lawrence was an important American painter whose painting, Going Home, is discussed in our textbook. He is also known for at least two important series of works, the Migration Series and the Harriet Tubman Series. In this assignment, we will discover the academic contexts that reveal the meanings behind Lawrence’s subjects, style, and narrative themes.
Step 1: Research
Conduct a search on the art of Jacob Lawrence on the Smithsonian American Art Museum website (see link below). Review all of Lawrence’s works and read his biographical material. Then, choose one painting or drawing you would like to focus on for this assignment. All Essay assignments in this course require that you include at least one relevant, properly captioned and cited image file in your document.
Step 2: Writing
First, summarize Jacob Lawrence’s works, style, and inspirations in a thesis statement. Next, in approximately 400 words, identify one major painting, drawing, or print by Jacob Lawrence and discuss the work’s visual characteristics using the DICP method explained in your Writing Skills Development portion of Module 1. (DICP stands for Description, Iconography, Context, and Point of View.) Incorporate Module 1’s key vocabulary and terminology, especially regarding how Lawrence used the elements of art and principles of design in his art. Then, in another approximately 400 words, explain how Jacob Lawrence’s works tell personal stories about the era in which he lived. Base your summary on information you have found from the recommended sites as well as those you’ve found on your own. How did the political and social climate of the time in which he worked affect his subjects and the manner in which he designed, composed, and painted them? Finally, conclude by explaining what you first thought of Lawrence’s art and how your opinion was altered by what your research and newly discovered historical, cultural, and compositional contexts revealed.