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Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and Arthur Neef Law Library Host Traveling Art Exhibit

November 23, 2009

DETROIT (Nov. 23, 2009) – The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and the Arthur Neef Law Library are pleased to host a traveling art exhibit titled “Jacob Lawrence and The Legend of John Brown.” The exhibit, designed to display digital images of 22 silkscreen prints with accompanying text that tells the story of abolitionist John Brown, will be open to the public through mid-January 2010.

“We are honored to join the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights in hosting this extraordinary exhibit,” said Virginia Thomas, director of the Arthur Neef Law Library. “Its powerful images convey the spirit of the early Abolitionist Movement. I doubt that anyone could view this exhibit and not be moved by it.”

Added Keith Center Director and Wayne Law Professor Peter Hammer, "The Keith Center for Civil Rights is committed to facilitating public education and dialogue on issues of race and civil rights. John Brown is a complex and enigmatic figure. In the hands of an artist as gifted as Mr. Lawrence, the saga of John Brown takes on powerful, mythic dimensions."

Wayne State University first displayed “The Legend of John Brown” at the opening of the Undergraduate Library in 1997. For more information on this exhibit, please contact the Arthur Neef Law Library at (313) 577-6181.

About the artist
According to the display brochure, Jacob Lawrence “produced works of art marked with a sense of the human struggle for dignity and the fight for freedom and justice. It was in his dramatic graphic biographies of abolitionists such as John Brown, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman that Lawrence combined his powerful visual language with the remembered stories of legendary civil rights figures he read about while growing up in 1930s Harlem.”

This project is a collaboration between the Wayne State University Art Collection and the Wayne State University Library System, with the assistance of Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) graduate student interns, and was made possible with funding from the Detroit Area Library Network (DALNET).

The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights
Judge Damon J. Keith’s life has been dedicated to fighting for justice and opportunity. The Keith Center, made possible through generous gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations, will allow that work to continue at Wayne Law. The Center will help the Law School attract and retain outstanding students, support and strengthen its faculty, enhance programming, and promote civil rights in one of the most culturally rich and diverse cities in the United States.

Wayne Law
Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.


Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan