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Painting Harlem Modern: The Art of Jacob Lawrence Hardcover – January 5, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


"[Hills'] empathetic analyses . . . make this the definitive biography of Lawrence for a very long time."--"Art News"

"Patricia Hills knows a great deal about her subjects -- Lawrence and the Harlem in which he lived and worked for much of his life -- and this will be an essential book for those who study these subjects."--"Art New England"

"The book is the most thorough analysis available of Lawrence's work and a valuable contribution to American art history as well as African-American studies."--"The Artblog"

"An essential book."--"Art New England"

"An essential book."--William Corbett"Art New England" (07/28/2010)

"This thoughtful and comprehensive biography makes a good case for recognizing Jacob Lawrence as among the finest American artists."--Steve Barnes"Artnews" (06/20/2011)

An essential book. --William Corbett"Art New England" (07/28/2010)"

This thoughtful and comprehensive biography makes a good case for recognizing Jacob Lawrence as among the finest American artists. --Steve Barnes"Artnews" (06/20/2011)"

From the Inside Flap

"Painting Harlem Modern is a long overdue study that will likely become the definitive work on this seminal figure in American art."—Mary Ann Calo, Colgate University

"A thorough—and long overdue—critical assessment of the remarkable span of Jacob Lawrence's work, Painting Harlem Modern offers new and valuable insight into how Harlem shaped art, and how art shaped Harlem. And as if Lawrence, art, and Harlem weren't enough, Patricia Hills also explores the creation of modern black identity. This book is a major contribution not only to African American art history but to African American history in general."—Henry Louis Gates Jr., author of In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past

"Patricia Hills, one of the academy's foremost historians of American art, has now directed her energies toward the evocative paintings of the twentieth-century artist/chronicler Jacob Lawrence, and with remarkable results. Viewing Lawrence's Harlem as the Parnassus of African American arts and letters and, related to this, the conceptual site where the painter created his own template for a socially grounded modernism, Hills calls for a reevaluation of this pivotal artist and for a sustained interrogation of his complex, visually layered pictures. For her critical and erudite intercession, art history should be forever indebted."—Richard J. Powell, author of Cutting a Figure: Fashioning Black Portraiture

"The triumphant result of years of exhaustive scholarship, Hills's book emerges as the definitive treatment of the life and work of one of America's great artists. Lucidly written and deftly illustrated, it is an essential text for specialists and an enjoyable education for anyone interested in Jacob Lawrence and modern American art."—Orlando Patterson, Harvard University

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520252411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520252417
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,920,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book. Lots of history.
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