Exhibition - Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle

Sunday, Oct 25, 2020 at 10:00am

The Metropolitan Museum Of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028

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Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle features the little-seen series of paintings—"Struggle: From the History of the American People" (1954–56)—by the iconic American modernist. The exhibition reunites the multi-paneled work for the first time in more than half a century.

Lawrence's "Struggle" was originally conceived as sixty 12-by-16-inch tempera paintings, spanning subjects from European colonization to World War I. It was intended to depict, in the artist's words, "the struggles of a people to create a nation and their attempt to build a democracy." He ultimately completed thirty panels representing historical moments from 1775 through 1817—from Patrick Henry's famous "liberty" speech to westward expansion.

Lawrence painted the series at the height of the Cold War and Joseph McCarthy's Red Scare, which also coincided with landmark Civil Rights actions, such as the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that called for the desegregation of public schools. These events deeply informed the artist's approach to the historical subjects.

In his ambitious portrayal of these episodes as inherently contested and diverse, Lawrence foregrounds the experiences of women and people of color. Most panels are accompanied by quotations from historical texts. This more inclusive representation of the nation's past is no less relevant today, and Lawrence's prescient visual reckoning with American history remains profoundly resonant with ongoing issues of racial justice and national identity.

The exhibition is made possible by the Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

It is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

Exhibition Date: August 29, 2020 - November 1, 2020

Location: The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 913 

General Admission

For visitors from outside New York State:

Adults: $25

Seniors (65 and over): $17

Students: $12

Members and Patrons: Free

Children (under 12): Free

Suggested Admission

For New York State residents and NY, NJ, CT students, the amount you pay is up to you.

If you wish to pay less than the general admission ticket prices, you may purchase your ticket at one of The Met's locations with a valid ID. All admission tickets include entry to exhibitions as well as same-day entry to both Met locations.

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