On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country. -Thomas Paine, 1776
Jacob Lawrence American
Not on view
In his influential pamphlet The American Crisis, English-born American political theorist and abolitionist Thomas Paine equated Britain’s tyranny over the colonists with slavery. In the wake of military setbacks, he sensed a wavering in many Americans—"fair-weather soldiers"— and urged them to renew their commitment to the freedom cause. Lawrence’s quiet scene depicts groups of battle-weary men, some wounded, huddled together against the cold. The isolated figure at right, cloaked in yellow and perched on a shrouded cannon, may represent the unwavering dedication of the nine thousand soldiers of color who fought with the Continental army. In a 1968 interview, Lawrence commented on the significant contributions of Black patriots to the Revolution.