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The Toussaint Louverture Series


The Toussaint Louverture Series by Jacob Lawrence from the Amistad Research Center, Tulane University

An acclaimed artist whose career spanned more than 60 years, Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) is best known for his series of narrative paintings exploring black history and culture.

General Toussaint Ouverture,1937-38 by Jacob Lawrence, silkscreen on paper, courtesy of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University

Settling in Harlem, in 1930, Jacob Lawrence found inspiration in the thriving African American community and its art schools and workshops born of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1938 he completed the Toussaint Louverture series of 41 tempera paintings depicting the life of the revolutionary leader. Other series followed tracing the African American struggle for freedom. At the time of his death in June 2000, Lawrence was the most widely celebrated African American visual artist working in the United States. The exhibition displayed all 41 of Lawrence’s original Louverture series paintings, which were donated to the Amistad Research Center in 1983 as part of the Aaron Douglas Collection of African American art.

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