The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
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).
Southgate MT. The Wedding. JAMA. 2000;283(21):2761. doi:10.1001/jama.283.21.2761
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