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…
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.