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Black History Month at Wayne State University: 2013

Annual Themes and Resources

Printed Books on the Artist, Jacob Lawrence

The following books on Jacob Lawrence are available in the library. CLICK ON THE TITLES for locations.

EBooks on the Abolitionist, John Brown

EBooks are available online for WSU affiliates, including students, faculty, and staff. To access a book, just click on the title.

Information about the Display


Visit the Undergraduate Library Atrium to see the display on the final stop of its three year journey traveling through Michigan (with a stop in Georgia)

In 1941, African American artist, Jacob Lawrence, created a series of 22 gouache paintings depicting the radical white abolitionist, John Brown, and his crusade to end slavery. The original paintings eventually made their way to the Detroit Institute of Arts, where there was increasing demand to view them. Because of their fragility, Lawrence was approached  in 1977, to convert the images to silkscreen. He did so, and 60 sets of prints were produced.

Since 1994 the Wayne State Art Collection has owned a set of the prints, and they hang on the 2nd floor of WSU's Undergraduate Library.

Visit the 2nd floor of UGL to see the original silkscreen prints. They are located on the walls outside the Student Technology Studio.

In 2009 the Library and the Art Collection decided to create a traveling display of the prints, so that other libraries in Michigan could see the important series. Digital images of the prints were made, and descriptive text written that describes the life and work of Lawrence and his subject.

Over the course of three years, the display has traveled to 17 libraries in Michigan, and one in Atlanta, Georgia, including:

~      Detroit Public Library
~      Eastern Michigan University Bruce T. Halle Library
~      Macomb Community College Library
~      Oakland Community College (Auburn Hills)
~      Wayne State University Neef Law Library
~      University of Detroit Mercy Libraries
~      Southfield Public Library
~      Orion Township Public Library
~      Mt. Clemens Public Library
~      Adrian Public Library
~      Rochester College Ham Library
~      Monroe County Community College
~      Milford Public Library
~      Alpena County Public Library
~      Atlanta University Center
~      Farmington Community Library
~      Mott Community College library
~      Wayne State University Undergraduate Library

The traveling display in the UGL Atrium

The project collaboration between the Wayne State University Art Collection and the Wayne State University Library System, also included assistance from Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) graduate student interns, the Wayne State Visual Resources Collection, in the Department of Art and Art History, and was made possible with funding from the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET.)





For information about the Wayne State University Art Collection, contact UAC Coordinator, Sandra Schemske at

his Library Guide was created by
Diane Sybeldon and
Julianne Novetsky


These selected online articles can be accessed by WSU faculty, students and staff.


Web Resources for John Brown

Web Resources for Jacob Lawrence