The collection is arranged in 11 series. Series 1: Biographical Material, 1914-2005 (Boxes 1, 11, 26, OV 10; 0.5 linear feet) Series 2: Correspondence, 1943, 1952-2005 (Boxes 1-5, 12-14, 26; 7.7 linear feet) Series 3: Writings, 1954-1959, 1973-2005, undated (Boxes 5-6, 14-15; 0.5 linear feet) Series 4: Printed Material, 1816, 1926, 1937, 1945-2008 (Boxes 6-9, 15-17, 26, OV 30, OV 31; 6.8 linear feet) Series 5: Photographs, circa 1970-1997, undated (Boxes 9, 17, OV 10; 0.4 linear feet) Series 6: Personal Business Records, 1962-2005 (Boxes 9, 17; 0.3 linear feet) Series 7: Artwork, 1984, 1990-1994, undated (Boxes 9, 18, 26; 0.3 linear feet) Series 8: Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonne Project Records, 1982-2002 (Boxes 18-23, Box 26; 5.1 linear feet, ER01; 0.001 GB) Series 9: Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation and Related Material, 1997-2005 (Box 23; 0.6 linear feet) Series 10: Professional Files, 1964-2004 (Boxes 23-24; 1.2 linear feet) Series 11: Honors, 1948, 1966-2005 (Boxes 24-25, 27-29, OV 30; 2.3 linear feet)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
The papers of African American painter and educator Jacob Lawrence and his wife, artist Gwendolyn Knight measure 25.35 linear feet and 0.001 GB 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 and digital material; photographs; personal business records; artwork; records from the Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project; materials related to the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight 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 Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight papers (9.1 linear feet, boxes 1-9, OV 10) were digitized in 2007 by the Archives of American Art and total 9,843 images.
Materials which have not been scanned include books, printed material, photographs of artwork, and additional material received in 2012.
Funding for the 2007 processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Funding for the 2018 processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Also found at the Archives of American Art are an oral history interview with Jacob Lawrence conducted by Carroll Greene (1968 October 26), interviews conducted by Avis Berman (1982 July 20-August 4), and an oral history interview with Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight conducted by Paul Karlstrom (1998 November 18). The Archives of American Art also holds a collection of Jacob Lawrence papers, available on microfilm only, reels D286 and 4571-4573. Originals reside at Syracuse University Library, Special Collections.
Modernist painter and educator Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was born in 1917 as Jacob Armstead Lawrence in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He began his art studies at the Utopia Children's Center in New York City's Harlem district where he studied under the painter Charles Alston. Lawrence dropped out of high school at the age of sixteen to continue his art instruction with Alston, this time at the Harlem Art Workshop, where he met several artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance including the sculptor Augusta Savage.
The Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in five accretions between 1979 and 1997. Additional papers were donated in 2012 by the Jacob and Gwendolyn 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 9,877 images.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- United States Search this