Jacob Lawrence was one of the first artists to break through the color line of New York's segregated art world in the 1950s. Lawrence painted his Struggle series to show how women and people of color helped shape the founding of our nation. In that spirit, PEM's exhibition is curated by women and the two accompanying exhibition publications feature nearly 50 artists, scholars, and students who are either women and/or people of color. Alongside Lawrence's paintings, the exhibition presents the work of contemporary artists Hank Willis Thomas, Derrick Adams, and Bethany Collins. This is the first-ever museum presentation of Jacob Lawrence's Struggle series and will tour nationally through 2021.
For this reunion, 25 of the Struggle paintings are accounted for while five remain unlocated. Of these, the known works are presented alongside reproductions of the missing paintings as well as those too fragile to travel. The titles of each work are often entire phrases or quotations that reference a specific historical event.
Explore all 30 panels of Jacob Lawrence's Struggle series with related artworks and responses from dozens of distinct voices. Alongside featured artists, scholars and curators, are inspired responses from teens across the country. Read more in the exhibition catalog and American Struggle, Teens Respond to Jacob Lawrence, both of which can be found in PEM's shop.