Paintings by Lawrence and Park Enter Museums of San Francisco Collection

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Paintings by Lawrence and Park Enter Museums of San Francisco Collection
David Park, Two Bathers, 1958. Oil on canvas.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco have acquired two major paintings for the American galleries at the de Young Museum: Migration (1947) an early work by Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000), one of America’s most important Social Realist artists, and Two Bathers (1958) by David Park (1911–1960), the pioneering Bay Area Figurative artist. A stunningly beautiful and conceptually powerful image in its own right, Migration is of particular art historical importance because of its thematic and stylistic ties to Lawrence’s 1941 Migration Series, one of the most significant narratives of the African American experience in the history of art. Park’s enigmatic painting augments the Museums’ strong holdings of works by Park and his colleagues, Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff. “The Museums’ aim is to acquire the very best and most representative examples for each particular collecting area. By collecting the very best, the Museums fill gaps in the collection and also enhance current strengths,” says John E. Buchanan, Jr., director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

A Jacob Lawrence Masterpiece for the American Art Collection
Lawrence earned national recognition for his compelling visual narratives of the African American experience in America. He was only twenty-three when he created a narrative cycle of paintings titled Migration of the Negro (1941). The series portrays the northward exodus of nearly two million African Americans in search of a better life during the period encompassed by the First and Second World Wars. Fleeing an oppressive sharecropper system, racially-motivated violence, and “Jim Crow” segregation and discrimination in the South, African Americans began moving in search of higher-paying jobs in the urban centers of the Midwest, Northeast, and West.

The Fine Arts Museums’ Migration, which reprises Lawrence’s most famous theme, was one of ten paintings commissioned by photographer Walker Evans for publication in his 1948 Fortune magazine article entitled, “In the Heart of the Black Belt.” The composition depicts a group of men, women, and children, surrounded by their worldly possessions, waiting in a southern railway station for a train to take them north. The anonymity of these largely faceless figures emphasizes their shared experience and unity of purpose in seeking a better life. This universal aspiration—embodied by the masses of Americans who joined the Great Migration with mixed emotions of fear and hope—continues to have resonance and relevance in the context of America’s ongoing immigrant heritage.

David Park: Pioneering Bay Area Figurative Artist
Park began teaching at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) in 1944, at the height of the Bay Area Abstract Expressionist movement. In 1949, Park famously took all his nonobjective paintings to the Berkeley city dump. This radical gesture, along with Park’s exhibition of the representational work Kids on Bikes (1950) at the San Francisco Art Association’s Annual in 1951, came to symbolize the schism between the Bay Area’s Abstract Expressionist and Figurative movements.

Rather than representing a complete break with his earlier abstract work, Park’s figurative subjects infused his work with a new humanism while retaining the painterly qualities and emotional intensity of Abstract Expressionism. Drawing inspiration from mythological and biblical precedents, Park’s bather subjects offer a timeless meditation on the relationship of human beings to nature.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco | Jacob Lawrence | David Park |

Today's News

March 18, 2010

Christie's to Offer Andrew Lloyd Webber's Picasso Masterpiece from His Blue Period

Gagosian Opens Exhibition of Recent Paintings by Alberto Di Fabio

David Zwirner Presents First Exhibition by Marlene Dumas with the Gallery

Director Paul Schrader Donates Collection to Harry Ransom Center

Trustees of the Reina Sofia Museum Agree Not to Move Picasso's Guernica

Paintings by Lawrence and Park Enter Museums of San Francisco Collection

Christie's Brings in the Bids as Art Market Shows Signs of Life

Auction of the World's Largest Collection of Original Vintage Glamour Photography

Property from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Z. Wick to Highlight March Auction

Dutch Police Arrest 2 Suspects Involved in 2009 Art Heist

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts Opens Third Alex Couwenberg Exhibition

Reagan 'GE Theater' Tapes Restored, Go to Presidential Library

Pierre Huyghe's La saison des fetes at Museo Reina Sofia

Rotation at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Features Seminal Chinese Painting

Delaware Art Museum Presents on Assignment: American Illustration, 1850-1950

Powerful Images of Contemporary Icons by Mark Evans at Scream Gallery

FBI in Florida Recovers Stolen Painting by Juan Gris

South Carolina Museum Rejects Monument to Mark Secession

Random House Publisher Services to Handle Sales and Distribution for Smithsonian Books

Auctioneer Plans $15 Million Emerging Nations Sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful