Friday, October 2, 2015

Hiroshima In Philadelphia

An installation of “Hiroshima,” a set of paintings by the artist Jacob Lawrence, will be on view at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia through Dec. 28. Mr. Lawrence, who died in 2000, was commissioned in 1982 to make illustrations for a book of his choice by Sidney Shiff, the owner of the Limited Editions Club in New York. The artist chose John Hersey’s “Hiroshima,” originally published as a single issue of The New Yorker in 1946, which describes the accounts of six survivors of the atomic bomb attack on Aug. 6, 1945. The result was “Hiroshima” (1983), a set of eight paintings, one of which, “Playground,” is shown at left. Mr. Lawrence became famous in the 1930s and ’40s for multipanel narratives based on key events in American culture and the African-American experience. For the “Hiroshima” series, he drew on his own experience in urban communities to imagine the bomb’s cultural impact.

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