Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series: During World War I there was a great migration north by southern African-Americans., 1940–41. Casein tempera on hardboard, 12 x 18 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1942 © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Whitfield Lovell’s Kin Series will serve this fall as a powerful visual epic in documenting African-Americans in the 20th century.

The Phillips Collection art museum in northwest D.C. will run the artists’ complete series beginning Saturday, Oct. 8 and through Jan. 8.

“Since the time Duncan Phillips first acquired the odd-numbered panels of Lawrence’s series in 1942, The Migration Series has remained a cornerstone of our permanent collection and a force in our educational work with international communities,” Dorothy Kosinski, director said. “While Jacob Lawrence’s masterpiece was created more than 70 years ago, it continues to resound powerfully with the global plight of migrants today. I look forward to the Phillips continuing its leadership role in using The Migration Series to stimulate dialogue and reflection on global challenges in the 21st century.”

The series (1940-1941) documents the historic movement of millions of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North more than a century ago. All 60 panels of the masterwork are on display with 30 panels owned by the Phillips Collection and 30 on loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

“In panel 60 of The Migration Series, Lawrence leaves us with the message, ‘And the migrants kept coming,’” said Elsa Smithgall, the exhibit curator.

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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