Recommended by Jen Graves
Last year around this time, I was so excited about the Museum of Modern Art's exhibition of all 60 of Jacob Lawrence's paintings of the Great Migration that I wrote about it, even though I couldn't get there to see the art in person. But now all 60 panels—all 60 panels!—are coming to Seattle Art Museum. This is the first time they've been seen all together on the West Coast in two decades. Lawrence lived the last years of his life in Seattle, teaching at the University of Washington, so the venue makes good sense. At MoMA, it was the first time in two decades they'd been seen together on the East Coast. It nearly takes an act of heaven itself for it to happen, since half of the series is held at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, and the other half at MoMA. MoMA's iteration included works of poetry, music, and photography, to place the 23-year-old Lawrence, whose own parents fled north, in the creative context of his peers. The exhibition was appealing and in-depth, unlike the all-too-often "uniformly flat-footed and sentimentalist uses of Jacob Lawrence,” described by Darby English.
A full review of the exhibition can be found here.