In recognition of the opening of Jacob Lawrence: American Struggle at the Seattle Art Museum, this symposium asks: what constitutes a legacy? Broadly defined as something transmitted or received from the past, it is a term frequently associated with American artist Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000), whose impact as Professor of Painting at the University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design is honored today through the Jacob Lawrence Gallery’s Legacy Residency. Lawrence’s dedication to mentorship and complex engagement with stories of the past presents an opportunity to reconsider legacy as not a passive or ancestral inheritance but rather an intentional and active consideration in both practice and pedagogy. A keynote lecture and moderated roundtable conversation will explore how artists—past and present—have constructed and transmitted legacies in response to debates about cultural inheritance, transmission, racial identity, and history.

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