Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle | Assignment Collections | assignmentcollections.com


The American Struggle exhibition at the METS museum presents a series of paintings drawn from the name Struggle: From the History of the American People by the well-known African American artists Jacob Lawrence. The paintings were created during the modern civil rights era and feature thirty panels that offer an interpretation addition to some of the pivotal moments in the American Revolution and the early years of the republic between 1770 and 1817. The goal of the artist was to present a revival of the combined struggles faced by the founding fathers of the nation in addition to the numerous underrepresented historical figure who was a fundamental part of the story of the creation of the American democracy. Jacob Lawrence was among the first artists who broke through the color line present in the New York segregated art world in the 1950s. The paintings being part of the broader collection of the struggle series were originally meant to demonstrate how women, as well as people of color, helped in shaping the founding of the nation. The modernist painting offers a chronicle of the important moments of the revolution and the expansion westwards featuring black, native, and female protagonists in addition to the various founders of the nation.

Panel 10: Washington Crossing the Delaware

The American Struggle exhibition plays its part as a fundamental reminder of the nature of bias that is evident within the art of storytelling. The exhibition features a great attempt directed toward the refashioning of the American story to capture the diverse nature of the continent. Thus, Lawrence uses artistic storytelling as a means of converting visitors into passive travelers of American history, where the fabric of time has fallen and the struggle is still proving to be constant.  The panels thereby are a representation of a more complicated narrative of the American journey towards being a nation as they demonstrate the beginning where the struggle of the founding fathers is entangled with the struggles of the native, black, and enslaved people. It commences with the panel titled “Life is so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.” The image presented demonstrates an animated multiracial crowd of colonialists with their hands and fists raised in anger against the oppression of British rule. The characters are surrounded by crimson gashes that are symbolic of the violence that is inherent in all the revolutionary struggles. Revolution becomes the main theme as scenes of black and indigenous courage and resistance are presented in full force.

Panel 8: The Battle of Bennington

Across the cycle of panels, the idea remains the same as the artist presents a form of paradox that questions the nature of legislated slavery in addition to the displacement that continues within what one can term a democratic society. The words that are featured within the different panels are electrifying imagery of chaotic and brutal collision of arms that do not represent a revolt but are a reminder of the activities that took place in the decades of the founding of the nation, which now is memorized in art.

Panel 21: 1956, Speech by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh

Panel 21 on the other hand presents American soldiers in their uniforms in a fight against the Shawnee in 1811. There is a communication of strength by both forces on the battlefield but it is the juxtaposition of the warriors on the pictorial field that steals the thunder. It is the author’s idea of creating a tipping point in his art that suggests the possibility of an alternative story where the native Americans can retain the lands that are sacred to them. It becomes an uneasy reminder of the colonialist and utopian ideas of manifest destiny in addition to the uncertainty of the outcomes when a nation is in a quest to secure its freedom.

There is an air of fascination when it comes to pictorial storytelling which presents a view of a different idea of the founding of the nation. The words used in the description of the paintings are strategic since they reverberate in the minds of the viewers as one would have to memorize them as they look through the exhibition. These words are naturalization of the privilege of white Americans. The words and the paintings expose the implicit brutality in how privilege is received and upheld in the nation. The artist uses a counter-story technique in creating space for those who did not fit in the original narrative of the history of the nation in addition to those whose experiences were overlooked. There is a suggestion of facts that the nation has always been in a state of struggle, a violent one that has been most consistent throughout the line of the nation’s history. The artwork thereby becomes a visualization of this struggle as the fact that the violence has been consistent throughout the entire nation’s timeline. The panels are a representation of the interpretation of the artist’s view of the events of the past that includes the ideas of remembering and featuring those who have been forgotten by history.

Panel 16: Citizen’s Army vs. Farmers

The name of the exhibition ideally fits into what the paintings represent, and what it emphasizes. The battles, rebellions in addition to the numerous conflicts of the two different centuries with attention was placed on the historical actors, some of whom were excluded from the accounts of the nation. A different tone and tenor are presented by the artist in his representation of the battles that were fought during the revolution. The modernist principles presented are that of reassertion that allows the artist to use his works as a narrative function. Through the paintings, the artist makes it possible to pull the viewer to look toward a different perspective of American history. The counter-narrative measure that is used in the different narratives displays the ideas of suffering and disillusionment of women whose contributions were overlooked. The premise of the exhibition is that they are meant to be a confrontation, America has to confront its historic realities and witness people’s lives that were lived as these realities are not held within archives.


#write essay #research paper #blog writing #article writing #academic writer #reflective paper #essay pro #types of essays #write my essay #reflective essay #paper writer #essay writing service #essay writer free #essay helper #write my paper #assignment writer #write my essay for me #write an essay for me #uk essay #thesis writer #dissertation writing services #writing a research paper #academic essay #dissertation help #easy essay #do my essay #paper writing service #buy essay #essay writing help #essay service #dissertation writing #online essay writer #write my paper for me #types of essay writing #essay writing website #write my essay for free #reflective report #type my essay #thesis writing services #write paper for me #research paper writing service #essay paper #professional essay writers #write my essay online #essay help online #write my research paper #dissertation writing help #websites that write papers for you for free #write my essay for me cheap #pay someone to write my paper #pay someone to write my research paper #Essaywriting #Academicwriting #Assignmenthelp #Nursingassignment #Nursinghomework #Psychologyassignment #Physicsassignment #Philosophyassignment #Religionassignment #History #Writing #writingtips #Students #universityassignment #onlinewriting #savvyessaywriters #onlineprowriters #assignmentcollection #excelsiorwriters #writinghub #study #exclusivewritings #myassignmentgeek #expertwriters #art #transcription #grammer #college #highschool #StudentsHelpingStudents #studentshirt #StudentShoe #StudentShoes #studentshoponline #studentshopping #studentshouse #StudentShoutout #studentshowcase2017 #StudentsHub #studentsieuczy #StudentsIn #studentsinberlin #studentsinbusiness #StudentsInDubai #studentsininternational
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *