FIRST EDITION OF JOHN BROWN ONE MAN AGAINST SLAVERY, 1993, SIGNED BY RENOWNED AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTIST JACOB LAWRENCE, WITH 16 COLOR ILLUSTRATIONS FROM HIS POWERFUL SERIES OF PAINTINGS
(LAWRENCE, Jacob) EVERETT, Gwen. John Brown One Man Against Slavery… Paintings by Jacob Lawrence. New York: Rizzoli, (1993). Tall quarto, original gray paper boards, original dust jacket. $500.
First edition of art historian Everett's 1993 book on John Brown and Harpers Ferry, featuring 16 "captivating" color illustrations from the original 22 paintings in Jacob Lawrence's acclaimed John Brown series, featuring the first time, in book form, "a sequence of images form the John Brown series… has been published in color," signed by Jacob Lawrence. A beautiful copy.
Throughout his art, Jacob Lawrence "has been devoted to the portrayal of the human condition. His work is remarkable for its bold use of color, its striking patterns, and strong design. In the John Brown series, religious piety, fanaticism, violence and tragedy are expressed in powerful, pictorial terms" (Sharp, Detroit Institute of Arts). Here, in John Brown, Lawrence's work is "captivating—stark compositions with flat areas of earth tones and weighty black, featuring the fanatical abolitionist, the slaves he planned to free, and a dramatic, dour landscape" (Kirkus). Sixteen of the original 22 paintings in his John Brown series "are featured here, making this the first time a sequence of images from the John Brown series… has been published in color in a book format." Everett's text “presents Brown's life from his daughter Annie's perspective… Lawrence portrays the raid simply, as golden pikes shining in the darkness. We are left with a final image of John Brown. After his defeat, we see him with his head bowed. He is clutching a cross, and the intensity of his beliefs is symbolized by his hair, which Lawrence draws as flames. After Brown is tried for treason and hanged, Annie is left with his words, and must decide if her father's life has made a difference" (New York Times). First edition, first printing: with no statement of edition or printings on the copyright page. With 16 color illustrations, most full- and double-page, including dust jacket image. With rear essays by Dennis E. Fry and Ellen Sharp.
A fine signed copy.