Marking the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration, the multi-decade mass movement of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North, the Museum of Modern Art presents “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North.” On view April 3 through Sept. 7, the exhibition highlights the ways in which Lawrence and others in his circles developed innovative artistic strategies to offer perspectives on this crucial episode in American history.
The exhibition reunites all 60 panels of Lawrence’s “Migration Series” at MoMA for the first time in 20 years, and includes other accounts of the movement in a broad variety of mediums, including literature, music, photography, sociopolitical writings and paintings. As an extension of the exhibition, a rich menu of new commissions, public events, performances, film screenings, digital resources and publications places contemporary artists in conversation with Lawrence’s masterwork and explores the legacy of the migration on American culture and society.
An in-depth multimedia website focused on Lawrence’s “Migration Series” can be found at MoMA.org/MigrationSeries. It offers an interactive exploration of all 60 individual panels with zoomable, high-resolution images, providing an experience of the series in its entirety that, at present, is not available anywhere online. The website explores Lawrence’s biography and career; the artists and intellectuals who inhabited Lawrence’s world and contemporaneous historical, literary, musical and artistic interpretations of the migration; historical and visual sources for Lawrence’s work, especially the popular and print culture of the 1930s and 1940s; and the social history of the migration. The site will include a range of contextual materials, including film, music, poetry, oral history recordings and photographs. The website showcases recordings of the new poems commissioned for the “Migration Series Poetry Suite” and filmed interviews with historians, writers and contemporary artists who offer new perspectives on Lawrence’s work.
Organized by MoMA and the Phillips Collection, in collaboration with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the exhibition is organized by Leah Dickerman, the Marlene Hess curator of painting and sculpture, with Jodi Roberts, curatorial assistant with the department of painting and sculpture.
For more information, visit www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1549.