Migration panel 54. One of the main forms of social and recreational activities in which the migrants indulged occurred in the church.

Black churches in the North were flooded with new members during the Great Migration in search for community and comfort. Lawrence gives viewers the perspective of this experience through the viewpoint across pews within a church where a service is taking place. A man and woman are visible in the outermost seats near the aisle; the man’s hat off as a sign of respect, both with their heads bowed in prayer. Next to the woman in the front row, a figure stares to the front (presumably where the sermon is taking place) intently. This is followed by the two men sitting next to the figure, turned towards each other. On the wall behind the entire congregation is a three part mural depicting the following: the holy cross, Christ’s emergence from the tomb, and the Virgin Mary mourning. Lawrence uses these themes of persecution, transformation, and loss, all of which are evoked through the murals seen within the church, to relate back to the migrant experience and the hardships involved.
SKU: 65213
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