Displaying the abstracted design elements and vibrant colors that characterize Jacob Lawrence’s style, Funeral Sermon commemorates the death of his sister from tuberculosis in 1944. An expression of personal grief, this work also addresses larger social issues, including the importance of spirituality in the black community and the overcrowded housing and inadequate health-care facilities in Harlem that led to disease and untimely death.
Watercolor and graphite with some varnish on heavy, textured wove paper
Sheet: 29 3/8 x 21 1/8 in. (74.6 x 53.7 cm)
Signed lower right: "Jacob Lawrence 1946 ©"
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