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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle


The Phillips Collection / Washington, D.C. / Art

The images in Jacob Lawrence’s midcentury series “The American Struggle” are full of rush and clash, kinetically alive and confrontational. These 30 panels retell the story, in pivotal moments, of the American Revolution and the four decades that followed it—1775 to 1817. Lawrence, one of America’s best known Black artists, painted his portrait of the nation’s birth spasms during the McCarthy era—a wake-up call, perhaps. The panels haven’t been reunited for 60 years. Now they are, with the addition of two new panels that were discovered in 2020 and 2021. The exhibition has been traveling the country, and Washington, D.C., is its next stop. —L.J.

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