Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
M26664
People
Jacob Lawrence, American (Atlantic City, NJ 1917 - 2000 Seattle, WA)
Title
The 1920s...The Migrants Cast Their Ballots
Other Titles
Series/Book Title: Kent Bicentennial Portfolio: Spirit of Independence
Classification
Prints
Work Type
print
Date
1974
Culture
American
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/100440
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Screen print printed in seven colors on plus-white Domestic Etching paper
Technique
Screen print
Dimensions
87.3 x 66 cm (34 3/8 x 26 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: l.r in pencil: Jacob Lawrence 1974
  • inscription: l.l in pencil: 41/125
  • inscription: l.c in pencil: The 1920's...The Migrants cast their Ballots
Provenance
Student Print Rental Program, transfer; to Print Department, October 25, 2005.
State, Edition, Standard Reference Number
Edition
41/125
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Lorillard, Division of Loews Theatres, Inc., transfer from student print rental program
Copyright
© The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
2005
Object Number
M26664
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Commentary
In the mid-1970s, Jacob Lawrence, an established artist in his 50s, began making screenprints of subjects he had explored in painting throughout his career. His work depicts the African-American experience, as is apparent in this screenprint of migrant workers casting their votes in an election from the 1920s. Much of his work demonstrates his commitment to African Americans achieving racial equality, and he is best know for series on figures such as Frederick Douglas and Harriet Tubman. In 1940-41, Lawrence executed a series of 60 paintings entitled "The Migration of the Negro," from which this print is thematically derived. After the first world war, millions of blacks left the south and moved to northern cities, where they experienced the freedom to vote for the first time. This screenprint is a complex layering of multiple colors and comes from the portfolio, the Kent Bicentennial Portfolio, commissioned by Lorillard, a division of Loews Theaters, Inc. Made in recognition of the American Bicentennial, artists contributing to the portfolio were asked to respond to the question, " what does independence mean to you?"
Publication History

Judy Murray and Ray Williams, Engaging New Americans, Preparing for US Citizenship with the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2012), ill. p. 66

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This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu