Artwork Title: The Photographer - Artist Name: Jacob Lawrence

The Photographer

Jacob Lawrence, 1942

This is one of 30 paintings Lawrence created between 1942 and 1943 on the theme of everyday life in Harlem. The scene is filled with swirling urban activity: an itinerant photographer, located by the jagged flash of the camera, snaps a portrait of a well-dressed family, a construction worker descends into a manhole, a finely dressed businessman with a briefcase hurries to work, and a horse-drawn cart bearing a bed frame progresses down the street. The range of activity here hints at the broader movements of African Americans in this moment, as the Great Migration brought many to cities in the North. (
cameraharlemphotographerhorse-drawn cartgouachewatercolorand graphite on paper

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