Three Laughs by Ben Dunn

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Lawrence + Thomas at SAM

Submitted on April 9, 2021 - 6:55pm

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is showing two solo exhibitions that feature people with close ties to the School.

Jacob Lawrence

Lawrence was a major 20th-century artist. He was faculty in the School, and our gallery is named in his honor. Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle features most of the panels from a series he painted in the mid-1950s. They depict moments in American history from the birth of the nation through westward expansion. This is the only West Coast stop for this exhibition, and it is on view through May 23, 2021.

Barbara Earl Thomas

Thomas studied with Jacob Lawrence in the 1970s, receiving a BA and MFA from the School. She has become a well-known artist in her own right, continuing to live and work in Seattle. Barbara Earl Thomas: The Geography of Innocence is an exhibition of new work that addresses race. On SAM's website, she says, "In this exhibition, I ponder what comes with our preconceived notions of innocence and guilt, assigned in shades of light and dark, black and white." Jacob Lawrence Gallery Director + Curator Emily Zimmerman recently interviewed Thomas for BOMB (link below). The Geography of Innocence is on view through November 14, 2021.