Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence


Jacob Lawrence is one of the most prominent and recognizable artists of the Harlem Renaissance known for his expansive series of works depicting historical Black figures such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, as well as significant historical movements like the Great Migration. Lawrence’s blend of abstraction with social realism and his unique method of visual storytelling garnered national attention.

Raised in Harlem, Lawrence spent most of his life connecting with artists in the community, attending the Harlem Art Workshop and participating in classes at the Harlem Community Art Center. In 1951, Lawrence began painting a series of works inspired by theater performances. The Masquerade recalls Balanchine’s 1951 Ravel ballet La Valse, where a masked Death looms over the cast and stage.

The Masquerade


The Masquerade by Jacob Lawrence


Title: The Masquerade
Artist: Jacob Lawrence (1917 – 2000)
Date: 1954
Medium: tempera on panel   
Framed: 14 ½ x 17 ¼ inches
Accession Number: H77.43







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