Lawrence was a painter of African American life. He spent his youth in New York City’s Harlem. He was part of the Harlem Renaissance.
“The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place inHarlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. During this period Harlem was a cultural center, drawing black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars.” Wiki
He married Gwendlyn Knight, also a painter, spent some time in WWII in the Coast Guard and continued his career in Washington state teaching at Washington University.
I find his painting really powerful. Images of people hard at work. He makes even menial work look so grand!