Cover image for Over the line : the art and life of Jacob Lawrence
Over the line : the art and life of Jacob Lawrence
Nesbett, Peter T.
Publication Information:
Seattle, WA : University of Washington Press in association with Jacob Lawrence Catalogue Raisonné Project, [2000]

Physical Description:
285 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 31 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND237.L29 O94 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
ND237.L29 O94 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
ND237.L29 O94 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
ND237.L29 O94 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

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Over the Line: The Art and Life of Jacob Lawrence includes essays by eight distinguished art historians examining the ways in which Jacob Lawrence's art speaks so powerfully to different audiences. It is the first multi-author, in-depth probe of the artist's entire career: the nature of his work, his education, the critical climate in which he worked, and his use of materials and techniques. It reproduces, in full color, more than 200 works, most of which have not been published in color, or at all, in other books on the artist.

An extensive chronology, collating events in his life with his public reception -- including selected exhibitions, publications, honors, and awards -- is illustrated with family photographs. Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) spent his childhood in New York City, attending classes at the Harlem Community Art Center and the American Artists School, and later working for the Federal Art Project. While still in his twenties Lawrence exhibited his paintings at major museums across the country, including the Phillips Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he became the first African American artist represented in the permanent collection. He lived, painted, and taught in New York City until 1971, when he moved to Seattle to join the faculty of the University of Washington. He was the recipient of numerous awards including the National Medal of Arts.

The paperback edition of Over the Line is published in conjunction with a major exhibition opening at the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, on May 26, 2001, and traveling to the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

It was not until relatively late in his life that the first scholarly monograph on Jacob Lawrence appeared, yet in the last 15 years significant attention has been paid to this giant figure in African American art history. The two-volume set under review is the result of over five years' effort to document Lawrence's entire artistic output, directed by Nesbett and DuBois and with the participation of the artist. It is indeed unfortunate that Lawrence's death occurred before he could see publication. The first volume, Over the Line, consists primarily of a series of scholarly essays, proposing chronological stages in the artist's evolution and providing an overview of Lawrence's life and artistic development, with special focus on the social, racial, and economic conditions expressed in his art. Accompanying the text are 150 color illustrations, an extensive bibliography, an outline biography, and more. The second volume is a true catalogue raisonn consisting of almost 1000 works, mostly in color, arranged by media and date. Unfortunately, some of the reproductions are too small to allow for full appreciation. Truly a prodigious research effort, "The Complete Jacob Lawrence" honors a great artist and gives testimony to his contribution to modern American art. Highly recommended for any library with an interest in the arts.DEugene C. Burt, Seattle (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-An excellent supplement to both art and African-American studies. Although taken from Peter Nesbett and Michelle DuBois's extensive, more expensive, two-volume work, The Complete Jacob Lawrence (University of Washington, 2000), Over the Line is an academic resource for more advanced students. Eight essays by prominent art historians examine Lawrence's life, techniques, style, reasons for his popularity, and the relationship of his art to events in African-American history. This quality text is interspersed with copious full-color reproductions. Many are full page; all of the plates are of high quality. This is the first time that many of Lawrence's works have been reproduced in color. The detailed index may be difficult to locate as it precedes nearly 50 pages of information on the current traveling exhibition of Lawrence's work.-Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Peter T. NesbettPeter T. Nesbett and Michelle DuBoisPeter T. Nesbett and Michelle DuBoisLeslie King-HammondElizabeth Hutton TurnerLizzetta LeFalle-CollinsRichard J. PowellPatricia HillsLowery Stokes SimsPaul J. KarlstromElizabeth SteeleMichael R. Schilling and Narayan Khandekar and Joy Keeney and Herant P. Khanjian
Forewordp. 7
Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Introductionp. 11
Chronology: Life--Receptionp. 25
Inside-Outside, Uptown-Downtown: Jacob Lawrence and the Aesthetic Ethos of the Harlem Working-Class Communityp. 67
The Education of Jacob Lawrencep. 97
The Critical Context of Jacob Lawrence's Early Works, 1938-1952p. 121
Harmonizer of Chaos: Jacob Lawrence at Midcenturyp. 147
Jacob Lawrence's Paintings during the Protest Years of the 1960sp. 175
The Structure of Narrative: Form and Content in Jacob Lawrence's Builders Paintings, 1946-1998p. 201
Jacob Lawrence: Modernism, Race, and Communityp. 229
The Materials and Techniques of Jacob Lawrencep. 247
Appendix Identification of Binding Media and Pigments in the Paintings of Jacob Lawrencep. 266
Bibliographyp. 270
Indexp. 279
Notes on Contributorsp. 285
The Exhibitionp. 287