History And Context

Jacob Lawrence, October 1993, transcript in The Phillips Collection Archives:

Jacob Lawrence: This represents my interpretation of the urban community. My first consciousness of my physical environment came about when we made the move from Philadelphia to New York. I was 13 years of age, and I was seeing what I call tall buildings, many of them, and tall to me meant six stories high, tenements, fire escapes, and just blocks and blocks of geometric shapes. And I don’t think I ever got over that feeling, that it wasn’t a shock. It was a revelation. It was like a dance, like a musical composition that appeared over and over and over again, and this is my response to the migrants facing the big urban community.