The Phillips Collection is hosting an exhibition, People on the Move: Beauty and Struggle in Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series through January 7, 2017. All 60 panels of The Migration Series are included, reuniting the Phillips’s odd-numbered panels with the Museum of Modern Art’s even-numbered panels from their split acquisition in 1942.
More than 75 years ago, a young artist named Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) set to work on an ambitious 60-panel series portraying the Great Migration, the movement between the World Wars of over a million African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North in search of a better life. The mass exodus prompted by wartime shortages and oppressive conditions for blacks in the South, was the largest population shift of African Americans since the time of slavery. Lawrence had spent the past three years addressing similar themes of struggle, triumph, and adversity in his narrative portraits on the lives of Harriet Tubman, leader of the Underground Railroad (1940), Frederick Douglass, abolitionist (1939), and Toussaint L’Ouverture, liberator of Haiti (1938).
Born in Atlantic City to parents who had made the migration North from Virginia and South Carolina, Lawrence spent his childhood in Philadelphia and Harlem among a continually expanding community of southern migrants. As a teenager, Lawrence exhibited artistic promise attending the Harlem Art Workshop and became immersed in Harlem’s vibrant cultural life. Through such mentors as artist Charles Alston, sculptor Augusta Savage, poet Claude McKay, and philosopher Alain Locke, Lawrence was exposed to the latest currents in modern art, finding sympathy with the work of the German Expressionists, social realists, and Mexican muralists. In 1940, Lawrence conceived of the idea to create The Migration of the Negro (now known as The Migration Series). With support from a Julius Rosenwald Fund fellowship, the young artist was able to rent a studio at 33 West 125th Street. There, in just under a year, with the assistance of his future wife, artist Gwendolyn Knight, Lawrence realized his 60-panel epic, the largest series of his career.
In telling the story of the Great Migration, Lawrence drew not only upon primary accounts he consulted at the New York Public Library, but also on the oral histories passed on to him from the Harlem community, from the street orators and preachers to the librarians, teachers, and Apollo Theater actors. Lawrence heard their stories, observed their struggles, and witnessed firsthand the realities of life in the “Promised Land.” In his Migration Series, Lawrence reminds us of our shared history and at the same time invites us to reflect on our contemporary world: “To me, migration means movement. There was conflict and struggle. But out of the struggle came a kind of power and even beauty. ‘And the migrants kept coming’ is a refrain of triumph over adversity. If it rings true for you today, then it must still strike a chord in our American experience.”
Support the wonderful work of the Georgetown Ministry Center by joining them on October 13 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Williams-Addison House for the 2016 Spirit of Georgetown. This annual benefit celebrates the community’s commitment to ending homelessness and raises the greatest share of funding for Georgetown Ministry Center’s annual operations.
This year, GMC will honor Patricia Davies, former board president and long-time advocate for individuals experiencing homelessness. “The support of dedicated people like Pat Davies allows Georgetown Ministry Center to welcome homeless individuals into our Day Center 365 days of the year, while also operating a Winter Shelter and offering medical and psychiatric care on the street,” said Gunther Stern, GMC executive director. “It’s only fitting that we recognize Pat at the Spirit of Georgetown this year, as she has been a tireless advocate and friend to GMC guests.”
In addition to honoring Davies, guests will hear from GMC leaders about recent achievements and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and good company. The Spirit of Georgetown is made possible by the hard work of event co-chairs and volunteers, Nancy Taylor Bubes, Megan Gabriel and Page Evans, the generosity and hospitality of hosts, Karen and Bill Sonneborn, and the support of the benefit committee and event attendees. A special thank you to the 2016 corporate level sponsors: CSC Leasing Company, Washington Fine Properties and Walker & Dunlop.
Via Umbria is hosting two very special events this month to raise funds for the Italian American Relief Fund, a fund established by the National Italian American Foundation to support earthquake relief activities in central Italy.
The first one is a cooking class and dinner this Friday evening, September 23, featuring spaghetti all’amatriciana, the famous pasta dish from Amatrice, the town at the epicenter of the earthquake.
Chef Rissa Miller was in Italy during the earthquake and will share her love of cooking Italian cuisine and her experience of the tenacity and character of the Italian people in response to the disaster.
The evening will include a demonstration cooking class with Chef Rissa followed by a 3-course dinner. Wine is not included and can be purchased at retail at Via Umbria.
All profits from this evening will be donated to the Italian American Relief Fund.
Next Tuesday, September 27, join Via Umbria for a gala evening of food, wine and a special auction. Area chefs will be donating their time, energies and expertise to showcase their signature dishes throughout the market in a program that also features a special wine tasting and tastings of products from the affected region.
The evening will be capped by an auction of products and experiences donated by the local Italian community, including special donations from Via Umbria.
100% of the ticket sales and donations from this event will go to the Italian American Relief Fund.
There are three ways to donate:
Place your online order and Via Umbria will forward your donation to Italian American Relief Fund (not tax deductible);
Make your tax deductible donation directly with the Italian American Relief Fund by clicking here. Be sure to specify "Via Umbria" as your referring organization (instructions) to ensure space reservation;
Reserve your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and bring your check made payable to "NIAF" with you to the gala.