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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Jacob Lawrence as artistic griot in the John Brown series
by Cronn, Curtis, M.A., California State University, Dominguez Hills, 2010, 92; 1487122
Abstract (Summary)

American artist Jacob Lawrence was influenced by the oral and written history to which he was exposed as a youth in Harlem during the 1930s. Lawrence fits the definition of a griot, a storyteller or historian, in his narrative series on the life of abolitionist John Brown. This thesis looks at how Lawrence tells Brown's story both visually and through the use of captions based on his knowledge of Brown's life and actions. Lawrence infuses the Brown series with aspects of storytelling that bring greater depth to his art.

Lawrence's presentation of Brown's story was created first as gouache paintings titled The Life of John Brown (1939) and later as a series of screen prints titled The Legend of John Brown (1977). For purposes of clarity, Lawrence's work will be referred to in this thesis as the John Brown series.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ellsworth, Kirstin
School: California State University, Dominguez Hills
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 49/02M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black history, American history, Art history
Publication Number: 1487122
ISBN: 978-1-124-34392-1
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