"Jacob Lawrence: The Hiroshima Series"

Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was one of the foremost African American artists of the 20th century. In 1982, he was commissioned by the Limited Editions Club of New York to illustrate a special edition of John Hersey's book "Hiroshima," a chillingly objective account of the atomic bomb explosion in Japan. An exhibition of Lawrence's gouache paintings based on John Hersey's book will open Aug. 23 and continue through Oct. 25 in the Study Gallery of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

For the "Hiroshima" works, Lawrence chose an uncommon color scheme that included red, yellow, pink and blue. With his unusual color combinations, he captured the horror of the catastrophe. At the same time, he reduced his figures to white skulls and agitated silhouettes that echo, in powerful and graphic terms, the impact and the devastation of the atomic blast.

In conjunction with the exhibition, two films on the life and career of Jacob Lawrence will be shown: "Jacob Lawrence: American Artist" and "Jacob Lawrence: An Intimate Portrait." The two 30-minute films will be shown on Tuesday, Sept.16, at 7 p.m. in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Admission is free.

"Jacob Lawrence: The Hiroshima Series" is timed to coincide with World Views, the freshman interdisciplinary course that for the next four years will focus on war and peace. Future exhibitions tied to World Views will focus on Carl Hall's World War II drawings, glass sculptures by California artist and Vietnam vet Michael Aschenbrenner, and an installation by Georgia artist Nancy Floyd, who lost her brother in Vietnam in 1969.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Sunday and Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free and there is no admission charge on Tuesdays.

For further information, please call 503/370-6855.