V

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Jacob Lawrence

Lawyer and Clients, 1994

Silk-screen print

30" x 22"


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Lawyer and Clients

Jacob Lawrence's 1994 silk-screen print Lawyer and Clients depicts a family of young African Americans visiting a lawyer's office for legal advice and assistance. Although Lawrence chose not to inform his audience of the specific purpose of the visit, the tightly unified structure of the composition, which focuses on the tools of the lawyer's trade–the reference books on the shelf and in the possession of the woman in the background, the pens and paper in the counselor's hands, and his attentive and eager clientele–indicates that the importance of the meeting is clear to all who are involved within the scene.

Lawrence's decision to illustrate a black family seeking the advice of an African American lawyer is a significant statement relating to the crucial niche that black professionals occupy within the African American community.  T. F.

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