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Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight papers, 1945-2005

Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight papers, 1945-2005

Lawrence, Jacob, 1917-2000

Painter, Educator

The papers of Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 9,843 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Collection Information

Size: 9.0 linear feet

Addition: 27.8 linear feet

Biographical/Historical Note

Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was an African-American painter and educator in New York, New York and Seattle, Washington. Born Jacob Armstead Lawrence, September 17, 1917, Atlantic City, N.J. He died June 9, 2000, in Seattle. Worked for the WPA's Federal Art Project and taught at Black Mountain College, in North Carolina, Pratt Institute (1956-1971), Brandeis University (1965), The New School (1966), the Art Students League (1967), the University of Washington, and others. Lawrence was married to African-American painter, Gwendolyn Knight.

Provenance

Donated 1979-1997 by Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight and 2012 by the Jacob and Gwen Knight Lawrence Foundation via Barbara Earl Thomas, representative.

Related Materials

Jacob Lawrence papers are also located at Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Department were loaned to the Archives of American Art in 1993 for microfilming on reels 4571-4573.

Funding

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Scope and Contents

Biographical material, correspondence, writings, exhibition files, works of art, financial records and printed material documenting the careers of African-American artists Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight.

Correspondence is with friends, artists, students, school children, art schools, galleries, museums, and others. Also included are writings by Lawrence and others, newsclippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, press releases, brochures, books, photographs of Lawrence, Knight, and Lawrence's artwork, scattered financial and business records, primarily relating to Lawrence's relationship with the Terry Dintenfass Gallery in New York, and two small lithographs by James Rosenquist.

An addition of 27.8 linear feet received 2012 contains materials dating 1970-2005, includes biographical material, correspondence, exhibition files, and printed material. Among the biographical material is a significant amount (8.3 linear feet) of plaques, certificates, awards, trophies and inscribed books given to Lawerence and Knight. Correspondence, both professional and personal, relates to the operation of the Foundation, Gwendolyn Knight's career, and the movement, authentication, and exhibition of Jacob Lawrence's work after his death. Also present are many letters and cards of condolence from significant figures in American art to Gwendolyn Knight after Lawrence's death. Exhibition files and printed materials relate to both artists' work.

A portion of the collection dating 1945-1995, donated between 1979-1997 was digitized in 2007 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. Books, printed materials, photographs of artwork, and the addition received in 2012 have not been digitized.

microfilm reels D286, and 4571-4573, containing papers lent for microfilming in 1966 and 1993, are available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

The papers of Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 9,843 images.

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

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