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The Cover
June 7, 2000

The Wedding

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2000;283(21):2761. doi:10.1001/jama.283.21.2761

Regardless of subject, the paintings of Jacob Lawrence (1917- ) always convey a sense of the sacred, like early Roman mosaics or medieval stained glass windows. They are the joyful and sorrowful shards of life, by themselves fragments perhaps, but when gathered together, something whole and wonderful as life itself. In his long career Lawrence has left virtually no aspect of African-American life unchronicled, from the struggles in the American South to those of Haiti and Nigeria, from the crowded living rooms of Harlem apartments to the crowded waiting room of Harlem Hospital's Free Clinic, from street parades to interiors of funeral parlors, from lovers to libraries, meat markets, butcher shops, baseball, birth, death, marriage, and war. Among his major works are several narrative series: Toussiant L'Ouverture, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, John Brown, and the postwar Northward Migration. There are other series as well, without narrative: Harlem, World War II, the psychiatric hospital, the theater, Hiroshima, and the occupation of building (JAMA cover, February 7, 1996).