Blind Beggars, Jacob Lawrence (American, Atlantic City, New Jersey 1917–2000 Seattle, Washington), Tempera on illustration board

Blind Beggars

Artist:
Jacob Lawrence (American, Atlantic City, New Jersey 1917–2000 Seattle, Washington)
Date:
1938
Medium:
Tempera on illustration board
Dimensions:
20 1/8 x 15 in. (51.1 x 38.1 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Gift of New York City W. P. A., 1943
Accession Number:
43.47.28
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2010 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Lawrence studied art at New York’s Utopia Children’s House and the Harlem Community Art Center in the early 1930s. At the art center,
he was introduced to paper-covered boards and tempera paints, which dry quickly and tend to produce flat, matte surfaces. These inexpensive art materials became mainstays of his work for more than sixty years. Showing a visually impaired couple walking down a sidewalk surrounded by frolicking children, Blind Beggars exhibits Lawrence’s characteristic concern for social issues. He produced the painting while working for the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project, part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): J. Lawrence '38
New York City W. P. A. (until 1943; their gift to MMA)

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "20th Century Painters: A Special Exhibition of Oils, Water Colors and Drawings Selected from the Collections of American Art in the Metropolitan Museum," June 16–October 29, 1950, unnum. brochure (p. 15).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "American Paintings, Drawings and Watercolors from the Museum's Collections," October 1–December 7, 1969, no catalogue.

Tyler Art Gallery, State University of New York, Oswego. "New Deal for Art," January 25–February 13, 1977, no. 12.

Hamilton, N. Y. Picker Art Gallery. "New Deal for Art," February 24–March 29, 1977, no. 12.

Long Island, N. Y. C. W. Post Center Art Gallery. "New Deal for Art," April 12–May 17, 1977, no. 12.

Joe and Emily Lowe Art Gallery, Syracuse University. "New Deal for Art," June 1–30, 1977, no. 12.

Wilmington. Delaware Art Museum. "New Deal for Art," July 17–August 17, 1977, no. 12.

Utica, N. Y. Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. "New Deal for Art," September 1–29, 1977, no. 12.

Grey Art Gallery, New York University. "New Deal for Art," September 30–December 20, 1977, no. 12.

Huntington, West Va. Huntington Galleries. "New Deal for Art," January 8–February 5, 1978, no. 12.

Seattle Art Museum. "Jacob Lawrence, American Painter," July 10–September 7, 1986, no. 12.

Oakland, Calif. Oakland Museum. "Jacob Lawrence, American Painter," September 26–November 30, 1986, no. 12.

Atlanta. High Museum of Art. "Jacob Lawrence, American Painter," December 16, 1986–March 1, 1987, no. 12.

Washington, D. C. Phillips Collection. "Jacob Lawrence, American Painter," April 3–June 1, 1987, no. 12.

Dallas Museum of Art. "Jacob Lawrence, American Painter," July 19–September 6, 1987, no. 12.

Brooklyn Museum. "Jacob Lawrence, American Painter," October 1–December 1, 1987, no. 12.

Pleasantville, N. Y. Reader's Digest. "Faces and Figures: Selected Works by Black Artists from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 12–April 1, 1988, brochure no. 16.

Katonah, N. Y. Katonah Museum of Art. "Jacob Lawrence: The Early Decades, 1935–1950," March 1–April 19, 1992, unnum. brochure.

Roslyn Harbor, N. Y. Nassau County Museum of Art. "American Realism Between the Wars, 1919 to 1941," April 10–June 5, 1994, no. 77.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "City Life: Around the Eight," August 22, 2000–January 14, 2001, no catalogue.

Washington, D. C. Phillips Collection. "Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence," May 26–August 19, 2001.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence," November 8, 2001–February 3, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "African-American Artists, 1929–1945: Prints, Drawings, and Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 15–May 4, 2003, extended to July 6, 2003.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "One Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North," April 3–September 7, 2015, not in catalogue.

Lowery S. Sims. Faces and Figures: Selected Works by Black Artists from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. brochure, Reader's Digest, Pleasantville, N.Y. 1988, unpaginated, no. 16.

Peter T. Nesbett and Michelle DuBois. Jacob Lawrence: Paintings, Drawings, and Murals (1935–1999). A Catalogue Raisonné. Seattle, 2000, p. 35, no. P38-14, ill. (color), call it "Beggar No. 1".