Migration panel 46. Industries attempted to board their labor in quarters that were oftentimes very unhealthy. Labor camps were numerous.

In this image of a laborers’ quarters, Lawrence investigates the territory between abstraction and figuration. Combining formal experimentation in perspective and audacious subject matter, this portrayal of a workers quarters serves as an illusion to the eye in Lawrence’s Migration Series. While limiting the palette to only three colors: brown, dark green, and yellow, geometric shapes are used to delineate the dark, enclosed space. By converging diagonal lines, these abstract, geometric shapes are essentially transformed into a staircase, guiding spectating eyes down the white streaked wooden floorboards of a hall, leading to the knob of a closed door.n Any evidence of outside life is absent, as is a source of light in the darkness, alluding to the seclusiveness of the space as a whole. Due to its illusionistic qualities, a different interpretation this panel may be that the knob of the closed door is actually a bright yellow moon leading to an unknown world: an emblem of freedom. The poetic yet contrasting themes of freedom vs. confinement is evident.
SKU: 65206
Creator: Jacob Lawrence
Date: 1940-41
Original Medium: Tempera on gesso on composition board
Original Size: 18 x 12 in
Location: Museum of Modern Art, NY
© 2016 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Paper SizePortrait / LandscapeUnframedFramed
Petite8x10 / 10x8$19$109
Small11x14 / 14x11$29$189
Medium16x20 / 20x16$59$279
Large22x28 / 28x22$99$389
Extra Large32x40 / 40x32$159$449