Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence, a Young Artist in Harlem

Image of Jake Makes a World by Sharifa Rhodes-PittsJake Makes a World is a biographical portrait of artist Jacob Lawrence as a child in 1930s Harlem. Having just moved to Harlem from Philadelphia, Jacob finds a vibrant community of Black Americans. At Utopia Children’s House, Jacob is encouraged to develop his artistic talent. Life in Harlem and the greater black experience in America would become the major focus of his work. Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts’s lyrical prose and Christopher Myers’s bold, bright illustrations complement Lawrence’s paintings, some of which are reproduced here.

Jake Makes a World is a wonderful introduction to Lawrence’s work for children. After reading, be sure to visit the Harn Museum of Art’s exhibit “History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence,” currently showing through August 5, 2018. On Saturday, June 9 from 1-4 p.m., the Harn will offer guided tours of the exhibit and a printmaking activity for families as part of its event “Family Day: Picturing Home and History.” Admission to the Harn is free to the public.

Also, be sure to check out some of the library’s books by and about Jacob Lawrence.  Many of the paintings you’ll see in Toussaint L'Ouverture: The Fight for Haiti's Freedom and John Brown: One Man Against Slavery are on display at the Harn!