Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The papers of African American painter and educator Jacob Lawrence and his wife, artist Gwendolyn Knight measure 25.8 linear feet and date from 1914 to 2008, with one item from 1816 and the bulk of the material dating from 1973 to 2001. The collection includes biographical material; correspondence including condolence letters to Gwendolyn Knight after Jacob Lawrence's death; writings by Jacob Lawrence and others; printed material; photographs; personal business records; artwork; records from the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project; materials related to the Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation; professional files; and material related to awards and honors received by Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight.
Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight papers, 1816, 1914-2008, bulk 1973-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
A portion of the collection dating 1945-1995, donated between 1979-1997 was digitized in 2007 and is available via the Archives of American Art's website. Books, printed materials, photographs of artwork, and the addition received in 2012 have not been digitized.
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Additional scattered materials loaned by Jacob Lawrence in 1966 were microfilmed by the Archives of American Art on reel D286.
Jacob Lawrence papers are also located at Syracuse University Library, Special Collections Department were loaned to the Archives of American Art in 1993 for microfilming on reels 4571-4573.
Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was an African-American painter and educator in New York, New York and Seattle, Washington. Born Jacob Armstead Lawrence, September 17, 1917, Atlantic City, N.J. He died June 9, 2000, in Seattle. Worked for the WPA's Federal Art Project and taught at Black Mountain College, in North Carolina, Pratt Institute (1956-1971), Brandeis University (1965), The New School (1966), the Art Students League (1967), the University of Washington, and others. Lawrence was married to African-American painter, Gwendolyn Knight.
Donated 1979-1997 by Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight and 2012 by the Jacob and Gwen Knight Lawrence Foundation via Barbara Earl Thomas, representative.
The papers of Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2007. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 9,843 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001