The Eyes

The Eyes

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hale Woodruff's Talladega College Murals

In 1938, Atlanta-based African-American artist Hale Woodruff was commissioned to paint a series of murals for Talladega College, Alabama, one of the first colleges established for blacks in the United States after the Civil War. The six murals, created for the college's newly built library, portray noteworthy events in the rise of blacks from slavery to freedom. Though he painted the murals for a local audience of students and faculty, Woodruff intended their impact to reach well beyond Talladega's campus.

The brightly colored murals were removed from Talladega College for a five-year collaborative restoration project organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The murals are six monumental canvases arranged in two cycles of three, portraying heroic efforts of resistance to slavery and moments in the history of Talladega College, which opened in 1867 to serve the educational needs of a new population of freed slaves. 

These exceptional paintings have just been restored and are on a one-time national tour before returning to their permanent home in Alabama. This is the only time these masterpieces will be available for viewing outside Talladega College. Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (currently being built on the National Mall) and is organized by the High Museum of Art in collaboration with Talladega College. The murals are being exhibited at the National Museum of American History in Washington until March 1, 2015. 

The Mutiny on the Amistad

The Trial of the Amistad Captives

The Repatriation of the Freed Captives

The Underground Railroad

Opening Day at Talladega College

The Building of Savery Library

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