In 2020, the Grinnell College Museum of Art acquired 13 prints by Jacob Lawrence based on his painted series, completed in 1938, of scenes from the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture. A leader of the Haitian Revolution, which resulted in the founding of the Republic of Haiti in 1804, L’Ouverture was one of the historical Black figures that Lawrence found lacking in the history books of his time. He completed 41 paintings in all, now in the collection of the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University. Of the 15 prints based on these paintings that Lawrence produced between 1980 and 1997, the College now has 13 of them, including the portrait of L’Ouverture himself. These prints, the first works by this pivotal American artist to enter our collection, are being shown in the Museum of Art for the first time.
In this video, Professor of Art History Fredo Rivera discusses Jacob Lawrence's series on the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture.
Explore our collection of Jacob Lawrence prints