WSHM exhibits Jacob Lawrence’s paintings of Puget Sound’s first African American pioneer


The Washington State History Museum just reached into the vault and brought out one of the artistic gems of the state’s archives and art holdings: a five-panel set of paintings by the late, great Jacob Lawrence. “Collections Selections: Jacob Lawrence” runs through Jan. 20 of next year. This is a show to go see early and often. It is rare that one gets to see work by Lawrence up close and personal.

In 1972, Lawrence – then a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle – was commissioned by the State Capital Museum in Olympia to create a set of paintings commemorating George Bush, the first African American to settle in in the Puget Sound region.

Of Jamaican and Irish ancestry, Bush led a life of adventure. He fought under…

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