Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle
Book and Cover
Title: Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle
Author/Editor: Elizabeth Hutton Turner; Austen Barron Bailly
Publisher: Peabody Essex Museum; University of Washington Press
Design Firm: Studio Blue
Creative Director: Cheryl Towler Weese
Book Designer: Meredith Barone, Joel De Leon
Jacket Designer: Meredith Barone, Joel De Leon
Other Credits: Chief of Curatorial Affairs: Kathy Fredrickson; Editors: Michelle Piranio, Rebecca Bednarz; Digital asset manager: Claire Blechman; Color separations: Prographics, Rockford, Illinois
The sweeping sequence of Jacob Lawrence’s thirty-panel Struggle series recognizes the artist as both the painter and storyteller of this strikingly contemporary revisionist history of the U.S. “As Lawrence saw it,” writes curator Beth Turner, “not one but many images were needed to tell ‘the complete story.’” To translate this idea, we enlarged each artwork’s title and positioned it equal to each work, allowing users to read titles and images side by side.
Lawrence's background as a scholar influenced his work as a painter, and newspaper clippings and reference materials inspire a balance of utility and aesthetics in the catalogue. Black and white is used alongside colors drawn from the American flag and Lawrence’s palette; and the plates provide space for the publication’s curatorial chorus, giving voice to the next generation of Lawrence scholars.
The typography is super crisp and thoughtful, and there's a beautiful chronology in the back that's amazing. It contrasts graphic, sharp, display typefaces with elegant body text. It’s a book that really unfolds over time in a rich way. It’s a book you really want to pick up. —Silas Munro
- 50 Books Winner
- 50 Covers Winner