ATLANTIC CITY — The Atlantic City Development Corp. put up a billboard at Albany and Atlantic avenues to commemorate local artist Jacob Lawrence.
Born in 1917 in the city, Lawrence became the first African American to be given a solo exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1941 for his work that captured the struggles of American life. He also was featured on the cover of Fortune Magazine’s November 1941 issue.
His most famous series, “Migration of the Negro,” portrayed the movement of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North after World War II over 60 panels.
Today, Lawrence’s pieces are displayed at about 200 museums around the country.
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“Lawrence was a visionary who brilliantly documented the Great Migration and other issues of historical significance,” said Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs. “He is one of the most influential artists of modern times, and I’m beyond excited that his work will be so prominently displayed for Atlantic City residents and visitors to enjoy.”
Oliver credited ACDEVCO, the Atlantic City Arts Foundation and the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey for highlighting the artistic and cultural heritage of the city.
“Atlantic City’s rich history and culture is an asset that should be celebrated and promoted both within the city and to visitors,” said Christopher Paladino, president of ACDEVCO. “We are proud to kick off this effort and plan to continue to work with the community to highlight the contributions made by people that lived and worked in Atlantic City.”