On Saturday July 20, New York University’s NYU 80WSE Galleries will open its doors for a three-month exhibition of the work of the historic African-American printmaker, draftsman, painter, and NYU professor Hale Woodruff (1900-1980). The exhibition, titled “Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College,” is on a three-year, nine-city tour and features six large murals by the renowned artist.
In 1938, Talladega College in Alabama commissioned prominent African-American artist Hale Woodruff to paint a series of murals for its newly built Savery Library. The historically black college was founded in 1867, shortly after the Civil War, by a group of former slaves led by William Savery. Inspired by this history, Woodruff painted six murals between 1939 and 1942 portraying significant events in the journey of African-Americans from slavery to freedom: “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.”
In 2011, the High Museum in Atlanta began a 12-month restoration of the murals to preserve them for future generations and pave the way for the current exhibition.
The NYU exhibition is co-sponsored by the Faculty Resource Network at NYU and the NYU Steinhardt School and welcomes “home” an artist with a deep connection to NYU and New York City. Woodruff was a faculty member at the NYU School of Education from 1946 to1968, and was also a leading figure in New York City’s black cultural community. His commitment to the university and education is being remembered through a school curriculum now under development that will be dedicated to the history of the Amistad and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Open to the public:
Saturday, July 20 – Sunday Oct. 13, 2013
Tuesday – Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
NYU 80WSE Gallery
New York University
80 Washington Sq. East between West 4th St. and Washington Pl.