In 1938 Atlanta-based 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. Installed in the institution’s newly constructed Savery Library, the six murals 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 beyond Talladega’s campus.
They attracted national attention. Cultural leaders in the African American community, in particular, championed Woodruff’s murals, adopting the project as a statement of pride and hope for racial equality. Today the murals remain symbols of the centuries-long struggle for civil rights. This project, a collaboration between the High Museum of Art and Talladega College, conserves these works and presents them to a national audience for the first time.
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Additional support provided by McDonald’s Central Alabama