Migrating to MoMA: Jacob Lawrence Panel Discussion

Phillips curator Elsa Smithgall discusses Lawrence's Migration Series with panelists in the MoMA conservation studio. Photo: Liza Key Strelka

Phillips curator Elsa Smithgall discusses the MoMA panels of Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series with scholars in the MoMA conservation studio. Photo: Liza Key Strelka

Last week, Curator Elsa Smithgall and I traveled to New York for a panel discussion at the Museum of Modern Art on Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series in preparation for a collaborative exhibition between the Phillips and MoMA in 2015 and 2016. The exhibition will reunite the 30 panels from the Phillips’ collection with the 30 panels in MoMA’s collection, and will open at MoMA in 2015 and then travel to the Phillips in 2016.

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Curators, conservators, and scholars view MoMA’s Migrations Series panels. Photo: Liza Key Strelka

The panel included 15 participants from various fields of study and expertise, including art history, philosophy, poetry and literature, American history, African-American culture, fine art, film making, music, and culinary arts. Participants spent the day discussing the continued relevance of Lawrence’s work and ways to approach the series from new viewpoints and disciplines. This discussion and subsequent meetings will shape the content and programming of each institution’s exhibition, providing a fresh, contemporary context for this seminal artwork.

Installing Pakistani Voices

This week, we’ve been busily installing Pakistani Voices: In Conversation with the Migration Series—an exhibition featuring artwork created during the workshops I facilitated in Pakistan last spring. The exhibition runs from October 1 through December 31, 2013.

Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach and Family Programs

Installing The Migration Series alongside artwork by young Pakistani artists. Photo: Rachel Goldberg

Installing The Migration Series alongside artwork by young Pakistani artists. Photos: Rachel Goldberg

Laying out the exhibition. Photo: Rachel Goldberg

Laying out the exhibition.

Emerging artists in Islamabad and Lahore collaborated to create artwork in response to Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series. Photo: Rachel Goldberg

Emerging artists in Islamabad and Lahore collaborated to create artwork in response to Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series.

Artwork created by high school and elementary aged students. Photo: Rachel Goldberg

Artwork created by high school and elementary students.

Dispatches: Last Day in Pakistan

Read Rachel’s last post in her series on teaching art workshops in Pakistan here. You can follow her on Twitter @EducatorRachel and also on Instagram.

Today was my last day in Pakistan and what an adventure it’s been! I’ve worked with artists, students, curators, teachers, and museum/gallery professionals from all walks of life and from every corner of Pakistan. Today’s workshop was with art teachers from Islamabad and the surrounding areas. We used the Phillips’s Jacob Lawrence and The Migration Series Teaching Kit to explore different ways to teach art at their school. This group of educators was enthusiastic and eager. Together they brainstormed wonderful lesson ideas. Some teachers talked about using The Migration Series to inspire their students to write poetry, others proposed using it as a way to introduce the idea of beginning/middle/end in storytelling, and there was much discussion about comparing and contrasting Lawrence’s migration story to the stories of those Pakistanis who migrated during partition.

I have had an incredibly rich, warm, and world-view expanding experience here in Pakistan over the last couple of weeks, and I am incredibly grateful to have been sent on this journey! Stay tuned for an article with more details about my adventure in the Phillips’s fall members magazine. In the meantime, I’m signing off from Islamabad.

Art teachers use the kit to brainstorm ideas for using the migration series in their classroom. Photos: Rachel Goldberg.

Art teachers use the kit to brainstorm ideas for using the migration series in their classroom. Photos: Rachel Goldberg.

Teachers consider the universal themes in Lawrence's work and discuss ways to integrate the arts into their lessons. Photos: Rachel Goldberg.

Teachers consider the universal themes in Lawrence’s work and discuss ways to integrate the arts into their lessons.

Rachel Goldberg, Manager of School, Outreach, and Family Programs