1000Museums

Sign Up for our Newsletter and get 30% off Your Next Order!

Migration panel 4. The Negro was the largest source of labor to be found after all others had been exhausted.

Migration panel 4. The Negro was the largest source of labor to be found after all others had been exhausted. by Jacob Lawrence

Details:

  • 1940-41
  • Tempera On Gesso On Composition Board
  • 18 x 12 in
  • Museum of Modern Art, NY
  • Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy.
  • © 2016 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Share:


$16.00 - $449.00

SKU: #65215


A common, recurring theme within Lawrence’s artwork is the dignity of the worker; centralized on that of the African American worker. Similar to Panel no. 2 in his Migration Series, Lawrence focuses on the lives of industrial workers: this time focusing on the the life of the black worker. With his arms raised high behind his head, the man prepares to swing a mallet down on a post. Motion is conveyed through the painting, as Lawrence’s simplistic style allows viewers to focus solely on the worker fulfilling his task at hand. The mottled green background and hardwood floor are not what causes the figure to stand out: rather, it is the window. Behind the man is a small window with a bright sky on the other side. The deep brown color of the worker’s skin against the light blue of the sky is what draws one’s eye to the figure in the foreground: he is the main focus. This particular work of Lawrence conveys not only the integration of African Americans into the workforce in place of their white predecessors, but also the isolation they felt (there are no other workers around the figure or in the background of the painting). Additionally, there is a sense of yearning for life outside of industrialism conveyed through the work. The window behind the figure suggesting that there is more outside of the workforce; more that the worker will not be able to see.