Where I’m Bound: African Americans and Migration in Art and Life

Click here to view Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series in the SPL catalogIt began with a poem! Reading the Langston Hughes poem One-Way Ticket inspired Jacob Lawrence to make a sketch of a train station waiting room filled with travelers, travelers like the ones seeking The Warmth of Other Suns. As a boy who became an artist, he knew about traveling. Lawrence moved from city to city and house to house until his mother, finally, found a place in Harlem for them to call home.

I was part of the migration,“ he says “as was my family… I was only
about 10, 11, or 12. I didn’t realize that we were even a part of that….I didn’t
realize what was happening until the middle of the 1930s, and that’s
when the Migration series began to take form in my mind.” 

In 1941, at the age of 23, Lawrence began painting works in a series that would become known as The Migration Series. Bookended by World War I and World War II, the work portrays an exodus, at once sweeping and, yet, singular in its focus. Long before his wet brush met a dry canvas, Lawrence had steeped himself in the works of writers and intellectuals focused on the Black migration and the role of the artist in art and culture. Where did he do so? At the library! The New York Public Library’s Division of Negro History, Literature and Prints, now known as The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, was instrumental in the artist’s development and formation of the work.  Continue reading “Where I’m Bound: African Americans and Migration in Art and Life”

Night of Disguise at SAM

Neo Primitive
Neo Primitivism 2, 2007–14, Brendan Fernandes (Kenya/Canada, b. 1979), 12 fiberglass animals, resin masks, dimensions variable, loan from the artist. © Brendan Fernandes, photo courtesy of the artist.

Join The Seattle Public Library’s social media team at The Seattle Art Museum for a ‘Night of Disguise‘ and have some incognito fun on Friday, June 19, from 7 to 11 p.m. Buy tickets here and use discount code twitterdisguise0619 to get $5 off.

The Library has plenty of resources to help you prepare for the exhibition! Browse our African masks and art quick picks online, place a hold on the exhibition’s companion book or explore more from SAM at the Library. Stop by the 8th floor of the Central Library to peruse some of our hand-picked, thematic reference material, leading up to the opening night.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter for more updates and live coverage of the event. Follow @iheartsam on Twitter for real-time tweets from our social media team and other guest tweeters during the party! Continue reading “Night of Disguise at SAM”

She Makes Art!

A rich mix of artwork greets us this fall when Seattle Art Museum presents Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, an international survey of works by groundbreaking artists.  Not to be missed, too, are installations and exhibits of pioneering artists from SAM’s own collections that will be on view in Elles: SAM– Singular Works by Seminal Women Artists. Topping off this visual feast is Elles: Seattle, a city-wide celebration of women artists hosted by partnering organizations and your Seattle Public Library is one of them. Continue reading “She Makes Art!”

Library Day at Seattle Art Museum

If you’re a Seattle Public Library cardholder, you probably already know that your library card gives you free access to books, DVDs, CDs, eBooks, databases and many more resources. But did you know that this Sunday only it’s also a free ticket to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM)? That’s right, Sunday, February 28 is Seattle Public Library Day at SAM Downtown. Show your Seattle Public Library card and receive the following benefits:

  • Free admission to SAM Downtown and the current gallery exhibition, Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act (one ticket per card)
  • 25% off the purchase of a book at SAM Shop
  • 10% off Sunday brunch at TASTE Restaurant

Want to learn more about Alexander Calder or modern art before you go? Check out these great books and other resources in The Seattle Public Library’s collection: Continue reading “Library Day at Seattle Art Museum”