Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle in Seattle, WA

Sunday morning I went to an art exhibit. I went to an art exhibit at a museum! The Seattle Art Museum. Double masked, with timed and limited admission, it was absolutely thrilling!

“The exhibition reunites the Struggle series for the first time in sixty years. Over the course of his career, Lawrence painted ten historical series. All of them are intact in public collections except his seventh series, the thirty-panel Struggle: From the History of the American People (1954-56), which was last seen complete in 1958 before being sold to a collector who then sold individual panels. Today, the series is spread across various museums and private collections….

For this reunion of the series, twenty-seven of the Struggle paintings have been accounted for, while three remain unlocated.” (Seattle Art Museum)

Jacob Lawrence, Panel 6, 1955
Inscription: We Declare Ourselves Independent!
Egg tempera on hardboard
Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross

…we mutually pledge to each other Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour – 4 July 1776, Panel 6, 1955

Jacob Lawrence, Panel 10, 1954
Inscription: No 8 THE RIVER
Egg Tempera on hardboard
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

We crossed the River at McKinley’s Ferry 9 miles above Trenton…the night was excessively severe…which the men bore without the least murmur.. – Trench Tilghman, 27 December, 1776, Panel 10, 1954

Jacob Lawrence, Panel 16, 1956
Egg tempera on hardboard
Private collection

There are combustibles in every State, which a spark might set fire to. Washington, 26 December 1786, Panel 16, 1956.

Panel 16 has been newly discovered after disappearing in 1960. Previously unknown and unpublished until now.

Jacob Lawrence, Panel 21, 1956.
Inscription: TIPPECANOE – (WESTWARD?) PUSH
Egg tempera on hardboard
Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross

Listen, Father! The Americans have not yet defeated us by land; neither are we sure they have done so by water – we therefore wish to remain here and fight our enemy… – Tecumseh to the British, Tippecanoe, 1811, Panel 21, 1956

Jacob Lawrence, Panel 23, 1956
Inscription: Lake Erie – 1813
Egg tempera on hardboard
Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross

…If we fail, let us fail like men, and expire together in one common struggle… – Henry Clay, 1813, Panel 23, 1956

Jacob Lawrence, Panel 24, 1956
Inscription: The (Raid?) on Washington Aug 19-22 – 1814
Egg tempera on hardboard
Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross

Of the Senate House, the President’s Palace, the barracks, the dockyard…nothing could be seen except heaps of smoking ruins… – a British officer at Washington, 1814, Panel 24, 1956

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