This year, a 12-month conservation and restoration process of the 70 plus year old murals was completed as a result of a five-year collaborative project agreement between the college and the High Museum. The six panel murals are considered to be the greatest works of famed muralist Hale Aspacio Woodruff.
The murals will be on display through Feb. 28 in Dallas and will be a highlight during the Texas State Fair. Woodruff’s artwork was exhibited in 1936 at the Hall of Negro Life during the Texas Centennial. Now 76 years later, the art will again be displayed for Texans and visitors to behold Woodruff’s colorful, awe-inspiring renditions of American history.
The six murals are titled: The Mutiny on the Amistad, The Trial of the Amistad Captives, The Repatriation of the Freed Captives, The Underground Railroad, the Building of Savery Library and Opening Day at Talladega College. Woodruff was commissioned in 1938 by Talladega College to create works for the opening of its library and to commemorate the 100th centennial anniversary of the Amistad mutiny, trial and freeing of the Mende slaves in America. The trial led to the formation of the American Missionary Association, which founded Talladega College and other institutions across America.
Talladega College president Dr. Billy C. Hawkins and the Board of Trustees said they are proud to share this historic treasure with the world, which depicts monumental moments in America’s history.
“This is a historic time for Talladega College. In a few days, we’ll be celebrating our 145th Anniversary at the institution. It’s an added milestone to have our murals on a national tour in major museums across the country. We are grateful to the city of Dallas for welcoming us,” Hawkins said.
Following this tour, the murals will be exhibited in Chicago and New York. They are set to return to Talladega College in 2015. The “Rising Up Catalogue” of the murals, a compiled work with essays on the artist, the history spanning decades since the murals’ creation, and a photo essay on the conservation findings, is available online at www.amistadmurals.com.