Sample Art Paper on The Art of Norman Lewis – Procession

Art is an important form of human expression since pre-historic times when people use to paint in the walls of caves, used as areas of habitation. This is to signify the importance and evolution of art as an important part of communication which is relevant to present day societies. It should be understood that different artists have different sources of inspiration which is captured in different formats. Most fundamentally, artists have continued with the tradition of art evolution using music – paintings, drawings as well as poetic works among others – as tools of expression. Nonetheless, the following discussion aims at analysis the Art of Norman Lewis commonly known as Procession.

Procession is a painting by Norman Lewis which gained popularity between 1909 and 1979. This was a critical period in the US as most political activities took place during this period – including both World Wars and the Cold War. Procession was an instrument used to capture the essence and protection of human rights. This followed the continued oppression of the African-American population that was experiencing a troubling life in urban towns of the US (Russo 15). Procession, one of personal expression of a grievance that aimed at communicating the plight of the Black race after the end of slavery. Procession is based on a concept that protects human rights of all people irrespective of color, religion or gender.

A conceptual overview of Procession, as an artwork, would indicate that human rights were largely ignored during the stipulated period of Norman Lewis artwork. It should be clear that the 20th century experienced a devastating global period that almost wiped the entire world in a conflict. Consequently, violent times would see the superior members of the society take advantage of civilians who had no military weapons or a voice to defend their basic human rights (Smith 33). Norman Lewis, through Procession, was able to describe the experiences of African-American who were at the mercy of political regimes. Consequently, Procession was founded on a social platform that draws the attention of global human interests when it comes to basic rights of survival.

The art of Norman Lewis (as depicted in Procession) draws a direct comparison to other paintings which were different in art but common in objectives of protecting human rights. For instance, the Freedom from Want (1943) by Norman Rockwell, captured a similar set of human expression which was analogous towards protecting minority groups from majority oppression. In essence, the Freedom from Want describes an artistic period when freedom of expression seemed curtailed by different political regimes across the globe. This is similar to Procession which fought for the protection of human rights by highlighting the plight of African-Americans in urban towns.

Freedom from Want – also known as the Thanksgiving Christmas or I’ll be Home for Christmas – was critical in redefining the freedom of worship in America. Being the main source of conflict across the globe, there was a need to revolutionize the American leadership perspectives on religion as advocated for by Norman Rockwell. An environment whose political tensions rise at a threatening rate experience conflicts on every aspect of human expression (Russo 18). For instance, expressing one’s views on religion is considered a treason in some countries. According to Norman Rockwell, it was critical to sensitize the public on the importance of individual satisfaction in self-expression. This, traditionally, was evidenced through deeply rooted cultural origins that a given race had practiced for generations.

It is important to acknowledge that Procession draws a number of similarities in achieving the basic artistic goal of human transformation. This is a process where a given generation of people are sensitized to adopt a particular way of life as a means of reducing human conflict that results in massive deaths (Leung 88). For instance, it is through art that the Cold War was evaded through a collective initiative which ensured that most nations protected basic human rights. Both Procession and Freedom from Want are artworks whose significance has attracted political and economic growth across the US and other democratic countries.

Addressing the significance of any artwork is an important process of evaluating its impacts in a given society. The Freedom from Want was categorical in its information sensitization as it focused on the basic needs of human beings from a cultural angle (Smith 35). Using religion as a tool of social bonding, Norman Rockwell reflected the relevance of Procession in an angle that recognized cultural diversity as a unique form of human identification. As a result, the Freedom of Want managed to successfully achieve its prime goals of religious differences and a resolution mechanism of protecting cultural diversity.

As noted in this discussion, art is an important form of expression which communicates deep messages in form of paints and drawings. Procession and Freedom from Want are some of artworks which ensured that the social impact of their work was accurately interpreted at individual levels. This strategy seemed effective as most people would concur on the interpretation of a piece of artwork.


Leung, Wing Sze. “The Moral Significance of Art in Kant’s Critique of Judgment: Imagination     and the Performance of Imperfect Duties.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 52.3 (2018):      87-106.

Russo, Jillian. “The Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project Reconsidered.” Visual      Resources 34.1-2 (2018): 13-32.

Smith, Christina M. “Using “reinterpreting the four freedoms” to teach about ideology and           ideographic persuasion.” Communication Teacher 29.1 (2015): 27-31.