Murals in second year of US tour
by Shane Dunaway
As summer approaches, the highly valued murals from Talladega College continue the second year of a three-year tour through major U.S. cities.

Coincidentally, the murals begin the second year of their tour during the 50th anniversary of some of the key events of the Civil Rights Movement.

“We are honored to share our historic art treasure with the world,” Talladega College President Billy C. Hawkins said. “The murals have been viewed by thousands since the tour began in June 2012. We’ve hosted tour receptions in Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago, and now we’re preparing to head to New York University.”

The tour began in Atlanta following a yearlong stay at the Art Conservation Center for the murals to be restored to pristine condition.

The six panels, titled “The Mutiny on the Amistad,” “The Trial of the Amistad Captives,” “The Repatriation of the Freed Slaves,” “The Underground Railroad,” “The Building of Savery Library” and “Opening Day at Talladega College,” join 30 other works from artist Hale Woodruff, who was commissioned in 1938 by Talladega College to create the murals, coinciding with the opening of Savery Library and the centennial anniversary of the Amistad mutiny, the subsequent court case and the freeing of the Mende slaves.

“Our murals are timeless pieces of art, which depict American history and the history of Talladega College,” Hawkins said. “This tour has afforded us the opportunity to tell our story nationally and promote the institution. In addition to our legacy of academic excellence, the world is being exposed to an optical view of the beauty of the Talladega College experience.”

After transitioning from Chicago to New York, the murals will be featured in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans before the tour’s final stop in Birmingham in the summer of 2015.

“We’ve been privileged to be featured on various news stations, in art publications, blog websites, magazines and newspapers around the country,” Hawkins said. “At the conclusion of the tour, we are looking forward to returning this treasure to the college and continuing to exhibit the murals to students and visitors for decades to come.”

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© 2013