talladega college

A Moment in History

The Amistad Murals consists of three panels: The Revolt, The Court Scene, and Back to Africa. They are housed in Savery Library and are known as one of artist Hale Aspacio Woodruffࢥst known works.

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Released On:
Friday, October 19, 2012
Nicola Lawler
Office of Public Relations


Talladega, Alabama—This summer, the Talladega College murals embarked on a three-year national tour. In June, the murals debuted at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and remained through this past September. However, the murals have now been moved to its second venue in Dallas, Texas. On October 24, Talladega College will host an exhibit opening reception for invited guests comprised of trustees, alumni, and friends to experience a first-hand glance at the restored works on exhibit at the African American Museum in Dallas.

This year, a twelve-month conservation and restoration process of the 70+ year-old murals were completed as a result of the five-year collaborative project agreement between Talladega College and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. The six panel murals are considered to be the greatest works of famed muralist, Hale Aspacio Woodruff. Talladega College and the High Museum entered an agreement to restore, research and exhibit the murals.

The murals will be on display through February 28, 2013 at the African American Museum located at 3536 Grand Avenue in Fair Park. These celebrated Woodruff works will be a highlight during the Texas State Fair. Woodruff’s artwork was exhibited in 1936 at the Hall of Negro Life in 1936 during the Texas Centennial. Now 76 years later, his works will again be displayed for Texans and visitors to behold Woodruff’s colorful, awe-inspiring renditions of American history. The six murals are entitled: 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 then 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 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,” remarks Dr. Hawkins.

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.

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The history of Talladega College began on November 20, 1865, when two former slaves William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, both of Talladega, met in convention with a group of new freedmen in Mobile, Alabama.

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