In 1938 Hale Woodruff (1900-1980) accepted a commission to paint a series of murals for Talladega College, one of the nation's first colleges established for blacks after the Civil War. Installed in the institution's newly constructed library, the six murals portray noteworthy events in the rise of blacks in America from slavery to freedom.
Today they stand out as provocative and relevant symbols of the centuries-long struggle for civil and human rights.Essays consider the development of the murals, their presence and significance at Talladega College, and Woodruff's impact on American mural painting in the years surrounding the Talladega project. An illustrated essay details all phases of the murals' conservation. Illustrated works span Woodruff's career and include oil studies; support materials such as prints, drawings, and photographs; and mural cycles he made in Mexico while studying with Diego Rivera.Stephanie Mayer Heydtis the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Other contributors include Renee Ater, David C. Driskell, Larry Shutts, and Juliette Smith.
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BARBARA J. MACADAM is the Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire. STEPHANIE MAYER HEYDT is the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. SUSAN G. LARKIN is an independent art historian.
David C. Driskell is a painter, author, leading African American art authority, recipient of ten honorary doctorates in art, noted curator, scholar, & lecturer, & an avid collector. His own paintings are in many public & private collections throughout the world. An exhibition of his personal collection has been touring museums in the United States for the past two years. He retired as distinguished University Professor of Art Emeritus from the University of Maryland, where he taught for twenty-two years.